Clustered slender to moderate palm climbing to 25 m. Stems circular in cross-section, without leaf-sheaths 6-15 mm in diameter, with 10-25 mm; internodes ± 15 cm long. Leaf-sheath longitudinally striate, bearing sparse black caducous indumentum; ocrea entire, obliquely truncate, extending to 3-4 cm; knee absent. Juvenile stems up to 15 m long, stem with sheath 1 cm in diameter; petiole up to 15 cm long; leaves bifid, up to 40 cm by 25 cm, deeply notched with rather rounded lobes; cirrus emerging from the centre, up to 60 cm long, armed with inequidistant, reflexed, bulbous-based black-tipped thorns. Leaves on mature stems sessile, or with very short petiole up to 1.2 cm long; rachis 60-80 cm long, abaxially rounded, adaxially concave, becoming trapezoid, then triangular in cross section distally, armed along the margins with inequidistant reflexed, bulbous-based, black-tipped spines, indumentum absent; cirrus up to 80 cm, armed as the rachis, although spines becoming increasingly inequidistant and sparse distally; leaflets 8-14 on each side of the rachis, sub-opposite to alternate, cuneate, spathulate or ovate with an uneven, moderately to strongly praemorse apex, broadly contracted at the base, 9-24 cm long by 2-6 cm broad at the widest point, concolorous, with ciliate-spiny margins, up to 10 sub-equal main veins, transverse veinlets 1-2 mm distant, moderately prominent; lowermost leaflets smaller than the rest, sometimes reflexed and laxly clasping the stem, or absent entirely; acanthophylls up to 2 cm long, very fine. Inflorescence glabrous, up to 35 cm long; peduncle to 10 cm long; rachis up to 20 cm long, sometimes arching, more commonly straight, erect; rachis bracts up to 2 mm long, broadly acuminate; rachillae distichous, opposite, becoming sub-opposite distally, 7-12 on each side, the lowermost ca. 7 cm long, decreasing distally, adnate to the inflorescence for 8 mm, less so distally, arching vertically or straight. Flowers borne in close sub-distichous pairs with 1 mm long triangular bracts subtending each dyad; calyx 5 mm by 3 mm wide at the mouth, with 3 rounded to triangular striate lobes; corolla 8 mm by 2 mm, divided to quarter of its length; stamens borne on 3 mm long epipetalous ring, anthers minute, ca. 0.6 mm long; ovary ca. 5 mm long, with stigma to ca. 2 mm long at anthesis. Fruit at maturity, ovoid to almost cylindrical, 2.5-3 cm by 1.5-2 cm wide with 17-21 vertical rows of dull brown reflexed scales. Seed 2-2.5 cm long by 1.5 cm wide by 0.8-1 cm thick, flattened on one side, with slightly undulate margins; embryo lateral opposite the flattened side.
Eremospatha haullevilleana is found both in closed-canopy forest and in open areas.
Native to, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Eremospatha haullevilleana is restricted to the lowland forests of the Congo Basin. Unlike the majority of the African rattan species, it is curiously absent from the coastal forest regions.