A clump-forming, short, water-loving, fast growing, dioecious, forest understorey, nonclimbing palm. Not known in cultivation, rare in the wild. It has subterranean, green stems, 1.2 m. (4 ft.) tall, 5.1 cm. (2 inch) diameter with no obvious leaf scars, and large segmented, pinnate (feather) leaves, 1 m. (3.3 ft.) long, 0.3 m. (1 ft.) wide, green above and beneath. Flagella absent Cirri absent.
Little is known except that it is an erect, clustering species. With leaflets up to 60 x 3 cm, which can be grouped. Solitary spines on petiole and rachis. Inflorescence is long, slender, drooping, with slender rachillae. Closely allied to C. erectus.
Calamus dongnaiensis naturally occurs in wet and humid tropical rainforest. In this type of natural environment temperature fluctuations are slight, and this palm prefers a constantly hot and humid climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. This palm will not tolerate cool for very long, and is one the most difficult palms to keep in cultivation.
Endemic to two sites in Southern Vietnam. Not known in cultivation anywhere.
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