A clump-forming, short, water-loving, fast growing, dioecious, forest understorey palm. Not known in cultivation, rare in the wild. It has spiny, brown stems, 0 m. (0 ft.) tall, 5.1 cm. (2 inch) diameter with no obvious leaf scars, and large segmented, pinnate (feather) leaves, 3.5 m. (11.5 ft.) long, 1 m. (3.3 ft.) wide, dark green above and, greyish white beneath.
Leaf sheath is armed with scattered or grouped spines and bearing scattered, caducous, red-brown indumentum; petiole covered with dense, caducous, chocolate-brown scales and scattered or grouped, horizontal or reflexed, narrow, triangular spines to 20 x 4 mm; This plant is suitable, while young as a houseplant or conservatory plant.
Salacca bakeriana naturally occurs in wet and humid tropical rainforest. In this type of natural environment temperature fluctuations are slight, and this palm prefers a constantly hot and humid climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. This palm will not tolerate cool for very long, and is one the most difficult palms to keep in cultivation.
A new species described in 2009 from a small area of Borneo, south of Kuching in Sarawak, East Malaysia.
Borneo Sarawak: Kuching Division, Padawan, near road to Borneo Highlands Resort, Mt. Penrissen, Steep bank above stream, very disturbed forest, 100 m alt.