Sarawak | Borneo

Borneo is the third largest island in the world, and is home to over 15,000 known plant species, with some of the most bizarre and beautiful forms in the world. This extends to the palm family, with a large diversity from colorfully mottled miniature understory species to large thorny clustering species, and even graceful climbing rattans weaving their way into the canopy.


Johannesteijsmannia, or the “Joey” palms, are some of the most stunning plants in the world. Their large diamond shape leaves shooting into the understory are unlike any other palm genus, and are used for roof thatching in their habitat. Named for Johannes Elias Teijsmann, a Dutch botanist and plant collector who was director of Bogor Botanical Gardens (under its previous name) in the mid 1800s. Four species of this palm evolved relatively recently in the last 3 million years, most of which are found on the Malay Peninsula, with altifrons being found across the Natuna Sea in Borneo as well.