Dischidia major (Vahl) Merr.

Etymology Genus Two (Di) and split (schidius); probably referring to the fruit
Species Larger; probably referring to the enlarged leaf form
Family Apocynaceae
Synonyms Dischidia rafflesiana Wall., Dischidia timorensis Decne.
Common Names Malayan Urn Vine, Ant Plant, Rattle Sculls
Status Native: Common
Form Climber
Native Distribution Indochina, Malesia, Papua New Guinea, Queensland

Diagnostics:

A climber that can be found in inland rainforests, coastal regions and mangroves, Dischidia major can be easily identified from its two forms of fleshy leaves. The first the normal one, are circular with a small drip-tip; while the other is a enlarged, elongated and somewhat tongue-like.


Interesting Facts:

The modified enlarged leaf form is hollow in the inside, and often used by ants to nest within; serving a mutualistic relationship, the ants protecting the plant from herbivores in return for a home.


A climber showing the two leaf forms in Mandai Mangroves (2010).

Normal leaves with a small drip tip.

Modified hollow leaf.

Flowers.


References

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Author: Jake
Posted: 2019-01-03