Previous plant

Myrmecodia alata

Next plant

Photo by Andreas Wistuba, who believe this to be the right species.


Drawing by af Eleanor Catherine.

Author: Odoardo Beccari, 1884
Family:  RUBIACEAE
Origin:  Northern Irian Jaya; Indonesia
Soil:  Epiphytic
Water:  Medium
Sun:  Maximum
Thickness:  7 Centimetres
Height:  45 Centimetres
Flower:  Bluish White
Propagate:  Seeds
Names:  -
Synonyms:  Myrmecodia aruensis, Becc.
Myrmecodia prolifera,
Merr. & L.M.Perry.

This member of the Rubiaceae family was given this name by Odoardo Beccari in 1884. It is found in northern Irian Jeya in Indonesia, growing as an epiphyte with quite some water and some to lots of sun. The caudex can grow to seven centimetres in diameter, 15 centimetres long, the entire plant to 45 centimetres in height with only one, unbranched stem. The flowers are bluish white, while the fruits are yellow.

The genera name means 'ant head'. The species name means 'winged'.

C.R. Huxley & M.H.P. Jebb Key to the genera of
THE HYDNOPHYTTNAE

la. Flower 6-merous, bracts or bract hairs
      conspicuous...................................Myrmephytum
 b. Flower 4-merous, bracts and bract hairs
      conspicuous or not................................................2
2a. Inflorescence solitary, centralor laterally
      displaced in the leafaxil.........................................3
 b. Inflorescence paired, side by side, sometimes
     displaced along the stem.......................................5
3a. Inflorescence centralto leaf axil, sessile to
     sunken, large, 0.5-4 cm across; stem branches
     and spines sometimes conspicuous, arising
     among the peduncular patches.........Anthorrhiza
 b. Inflorescence not central to leafaxil, pedunculate
     to sessile, rarely terminal, less than 0.5 cm broad
     at the base. Spines absent from the inflorescence,
     but adventitiousroots sometimespresent..............4
4a. Tuber with rings ofentrance holes, concentric
     about the tuberaxis. Corolla with fringed plates
     at the base of the tube......................Squamellaria
 b. Entrance holes scattered over the tuber surface
     or in two lines along the sides of the tuber.
     Corolla glabrous or with a ring of hairs
     within the tube.................................Hydnophytum
5a. Inflorescence sunken. Tuber and stem
      with spines or adventitious roots especially
     around holes and inflorescences. Stems one
     to few, thick, branching sparse or absent;
     vascular tissue in 4 bundles. Leaves never
     less than 5 cm long. Pyrenes 4-10....Myrmecodia
 b. Inflorescence pedunculate to sessile. Tuber and
     stem without spines, occasionally with adventitious
     roots. Stems one to many, slender; freely
     branching; vascular tissue forming a cylinder.
     Leaves 0.3-30 cm. Pyrenes 2-4......Hydnophytum