Calamus caryotoides

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Fishtail lawyer cane
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Calamoideae
Tribe: Calameae
Genus: Calamus
Species: C. caryotoides
Binomial name
Calamus caryotoides
A.Cunn. ex Mart.[1]

Calamus caryotoides (also Palmijuncus caryotoides), more commonly known as fishtail lawyer cane is a North-East Queensland tropical forest climbing palm with very thin (12 mm) flexible trunks; no crownshaft; small spikes; dark green, glossy, fish-tail shaped leaves reaching up to 15 m high (5m spread); and very thin hooked flagella[2]

It tends to clump and grow up into the shaded understory of Queensland's wet tropical forests, and is a close relative of the more infamous Calamus radicalis (aka Wait-a-While).[2][3]

The Cairns Botanical Gardens records local Yidinydji, Yirrganyydji, Djabuganydji, and Gungganydji use Calamus caryotoides (also known to Yidinydji as Bugul, pronounced BOOK-KOOL) as follows:

The thin flexible trunks of this (and other) climbing palm made ideal building frames, or rope and string when split. The young shoots were eaten to cure headaches.[3]


  1. ^ "Calamus caryotoides". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Calamus caryotoides, Accessed 24 June 2009
  3. ^ a b Cairns Botanical Gardens (no date) Aboriginal Plant Use Garden: Cairns Rainforest Region. Cairns Botanical Gardens. Cairns.