Robust clustering rattan climbing to great heights, to 50 m or more; stem without sheaths to 40 mm diam., with rather prominent nodes and frequently slightly angular in cross section, with sheaths to 70 mm diam., internodes to 30 cm long. Sheaths dark green, armed with large triangular, flattened, yellowish-based black spines to 4×1 cm, and scattered dull brown scales; knee conspicuous; ocrea short, quickly tattering. Flagellum massive, to 10 m or more long, dark green, armed with short black, yellowish-based spines. Leaf subcirrate, very robust, to 4 m long including the petiole to 1 m (usually less; leaflets 20-30 on each side of the rachis, usually pale green, regularly arranged, the proximal to 50×5 cm increasing to 80×8 cm in mid leaf, decreasing to minute at the tip, c. 4×0.5 cm, forming a subcirrus, the leaflets drying pale green, not blackish, prickly on the upper surface of the veins near the tip and along the margins. Inflorescences to 8 m long including the long terminal flagellum, bearing 4-6 partial inflorescences to 80 cm, with robust reflexed rachillae in female, and more finely branched in the male. Ripe fruit ellipsoid, to 30×20 mm, tipped with a short beak and covered in 15 vertical rows of matt brown to black scales with paler bases. Seed to 20×8 mm, rather angular and grooved with one flattened lateral face; sarcotesta sour; endosperm homogeneous. Seedling leaf bifid, shiny green.
Throughout the lowlands of Brunei, but nowhere very common. Widespread in Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, S. Thailand, Philippines and Sulawesi, the forms in the last two areas distinct.
Produces a good quality cane for furniture manufacture; however it does not command the highest prices because the cane is rather uneven in cross-section. Fruits are used to make a sambal.