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Occurrence of somatic embryogenesis in in vitro cultures of Calamus merrillii and Calamus subinermis, two major largecaned rattan species, was scientifically demonstrated for the first time. Tissue responsiveness varied markedly according to the species and the type of primary explants used when initiated on 10.4-31.2 μM picloram-enriched Murashige and Skoog callus induction media. In C. merrillii, within 6 wk after inoculation, 84% of the leaf and 90% of the zygotic embryo explants produced friable embryogenic calluses, by contrast with those formed by 74% of the root explants. In C. subinermis, callogenesis was observed only 6 mo. after inoculation in 68% of root and 48% of zygotic explants. Leaf explants did not respond at all. Only root-derived calluses developed into nodular embryogenic structures. Irrespective of these initial differences, the further steps of the somatic embryogenesis developmental pattern was similar for both species. Histological analyses established that callus formation took place in the perivascular zones, and could give rise to embryogenic isolated cells from which the proembryos were derived. Reducing the picloram concentration stimulated the maturation process resulting ultimately in the germination of somatic embryos that exhibited bipolar development, despite an apparent lack of starch and protein reserves. The somatic embryo-derived plantlets of C. merrillii, overall more prone to somatic embryogenesis than C. subinermis in the given conditions, were successfully acclimatized to outdoor conditions.