Close Up of the 'Gendang' ( drum) where rattan is used to stretch the goatskin.
Rattans come in various sizes depending on the species. The above rattan stem is about 1 cm in diameter and can grow up to 10- 20 m long. The high demand for good species of rattan has induced further exploitation and intrusion into primary forests here which resulted in their deterioration and/or gradual disappearance.
Now to mitigate such calamity there are rattan plantations around Bintulu. The continual supply of rattan is therefore one component of the Malaysian economy one should not dismiss as the concern of botanists alone.
It is not difficult to guess that the word rattan is derived from the Malay word' rotan'. Minus the thorns, rattan canes are normally used to frighten naughty kids or in some instances as a device to cane them with.
Notice how the rattan stem have a long flagellum ( climbing whip) at its end to enable it to stick itself to jungle lianas or branches on their way up the tall jungle trees.
Another species of the rattan that is still at its young stage of growth. It is the tropical rainforests with its excellent shade, tall trees, humidity and moisture and profileration of dead leaves on the jungle floor, humus, ants, etc that provide the ideal environment for rattans to thrive.
Finally from yesterday's posting I have here a picture of the rattan fruits that are edible and can be eaten raw but having a very sour to bitter taste. It is worthwhile to note that seeds of the rattan may take 1-6 months to germinate.
I have so far preserved two vegetation islands behind my chalet where the original jungle environment has been undisturbed for posterity. These two islands cover and area of about an acre , which I feel suffucient to showcase the rich biodiversity of our tropical forest right behind my chalet. There are about 370 genus of the rattan making it the largest genus of the palm family. Here at my eco-farm I have planted oil palm trees surrounding the two vegetation islands. Thus when I am bored to see the oil palm trees I would walk through the jungle to discover more of its botanical wealth, rattans included.