The ‘Wait-a-while’ Palm (6)

The 'Wait-a-while' Palm (6) This image taken adjacent to the boardwalk at Red Peak Skyrail Station in the Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia, shows a greater than normal level of undergrowth because cyclone damage has opened up clearings in what is normally a closed-canopy rainforest.

The ‘Wait-a-while’ Palm (6) – The scientific name of this palm is Calamus motii. The word ‘motii’ is a local aboriginal one and I think it maybe describes the sound made by flicking the large sharp spines on the stem. These hooks help the plant to climb high up into the canopy of the Daintree tropical rainforest by latching on to bigger trees. Red Peak (Skyrail) Station, Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia. P1150057aBlog6

6 Replies to “The ‘Wait-a-while’ Palm (6)”

  1. Thanks Jessica – I have a nature reserve where they had unfortunately run rampant. They can climb easily to 30 metres and more and very little can move through them as they send out these cane tentacles that run through the trees which also supports the vines, like the Captain Cook vine, so eventually chokes the trees and down they come. I have removed most of it and it really is a pleasure to see the rain forest begin to recover. I suppose they do their job in sealing the edges of rain forest after damage, but once infiltrated they are very destructive.


  2. Thank you, Alex, for this information. I am wondering what are the control factors that prevent the plant from destroying all the forest. My photographs were taken many years ago on a holiday trip to the Daintree, and the Wait-a-while palms were growing right next to the boardwalk. Is there a lot of management required to stop it spreading.


  3. Yes, the rain forest can repair itself in time once the canopy is in place as that stops most vines from germinating, but it can take a long time as you can imagine, as no trees can germinate either, and that is what I am trying to do accelerate it. Once cleared the seeds start shooting up. As you mentioned, along the Daintree and Josephine Falls area, the walking paths tend to allow them to get started, and there is a fair bit of maintenance to cut them back, but it does spread in. I have culled some very dense infestation where the there is absolutely no light getting to the ground underneath the Wait-a-While cane and the soil is just black and sterile.


  4. Thank you for the details which I am sure will be found interesting to the many viewers who look at this particular posting. So far 4956 people have looked at this post about the Wait-awhile Palm since I published it.


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