Description from Flora of China
Calamus balansanus Beccari; C. balansanus var. castaneolepis (C. F. Wei) S. J. Pei & San Y. Chen; C. henryanus var. castaneolepis C. F. Wei.
Stems clustered, climbing, to 20 m, to 1.8 cm in diam. Leaf sheaths with mottled, reddish brown hairs, with scattered, yellowish, flattened, triangular spines to 2 cm (sometimes a few spines to 7 cm at sheath apices); ocreas very short, sometimes spiny; knees present; flagella to 4 m; rachis to 1.3 m with 30-45 linear pinnae per side, these regularly arranged, or often regularly arranged but with gaps; middle pinnae 15-40 cm, 1.3-2 cm wide at mid-point, adaxial veins and margins bristly; cirri absent. Inflorescences to 4.5 m, flagellate; inflorescence bracts tattering at apices. Fruits yellowish brown, globose to ellipsoid, 1-1.5 × 0.7-1 cm.
This species provides a cane used in furniture-making.
Records of Calamus rugosus Beccari from China (e.g., Chen et al., Acta Bot. Yunnan. 24: 203. 2002) are based on a misidentification of this species.
Lowland or montane rain forests or scrub forests; below 1700 m. Guangxi, S Sichuan, Yunnan [Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam].