material (vegetable source)

Rattan (from the Malay rotan) is the name for about 600 species of old world climbing palms.

A rattan cane

They belong to the subfamily Calamoideae.[1]

Rattan is also known as manila, or malacca, after the ports of Manila and Malacca City, and as manau (from the Malay rotan manau, the trade name for Calamus manan canes in Southeast Asia).[2]

The climbing habit comes with a flexible woody stem, got from a secondary growth. This makes rattan a liana rather than a normal or true wood. It grows much faster than most tropical wood.

'Dragon's blood' is a red resin used in dyes, varnishes and incense. It can come from the fruit of a rattan.


  1. J Dransfield 2002. General Introduction to Rattan - the biological background to exploitation and the history of rattan research. [1]
  2. Johnson, Dennis V. (2004): Rattan glossary: and compendium glossary with emphasis on Africa. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, p. 22.