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Dischidia : Dischidia rafflesiana Wall, 1830

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Dischidia rafflesiana
Dupet semut

A unique ant plant recoded in rejang land at lebong regency known as Dischidia Rafflesiana. The plant describe first time by Wallich at year 1830 in journal Plantae Asiaticae Rariores 2 1830 from specimen in singapore, malaka and selangor, malaysia. (Peninsular malaya) :
"Crescit in Singapur, super arboribus radicans, florens fructiferaque mense Novembris. Ad Malaccam et Sallangohr alibique, Gerbardus K?nig in Herario Banksiano."(4)
In rejang language this plant call as dupet semut, meaning wallet of ant as you see at photo below.


Rejang Native name :
Dupet semut (wallet of ant) or dompet semut

Common Name :
Ant Plant, Malayan Urn Vine, Rattle Sculls, akar bani (Bahasa Indonesia).

Synonym :
Dischidia major

Distiribution
:
India to Australia




An unusual succulent/epyphite vine with inflated, hollow leaves resembling baloons, in nature used by ants for nesting. It is a strange Hoya relative with modified leaves that look like a cluster of bananas. These leaves house ants in the wild; the ants get a free house and the plant gets protection from predatory insects. This tropical epiphyte can be grown in moss, orchid bark, or on bark. It also has round coin-like more normal leaves. Likes warmth, bright light, and high humidity. Grows to about 16-feet long, having many wiry, and twining stems. On the stems, adventitious roots form at the leaf joints to attach it to the host plant. The leaves are opposite, starting small, and rounded, then the modified food storage leaves becoming large, pitcher-like, and hollow. However, the cavity in the leaf fills with its own roots. These leaves are fleshy, green outside, and purplish inside. Flowers are yellowish, fleshy, and arranged in umbels. USDA Zone 11. Easy to grow as a houseplant or in the drier areas of terrariums. Likes bright light and needs to dry out between watering. (2)


Urnenpflanze (Dischidia rafflesiana), Illustration.(1)


It is not carnivorous plant

The Dischidia plants to the right make strange little pouch-like structures that look like fat pickles. Ants live in the pouches and bring poop and detritus into them. After a while, the plant sends roots into the pouch to absorb the anty-flavored goodness that has accumulated. Although the plants are getting food from, in part, dead ants that might have died within the plant, it really does not seem right to call it carnivorous. But there is no doubt that it is pretty weird.Page citations: Mabberley, D.J. 1987; Rice, B.A. 2006a.(3).

Reference :
  1. http://de.academic.ru/dic.nsf/dewiki/104581
  2. http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/dischidia_rafflesiana.htm
  3. http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq5965.html
  4. http://www.ipni.org/ipni/idPlantNameSearch.do;jsessionid=43D8DCBF94D043364C20D86DA8150314?id=87963-3&back_page=%2Fipni%2FeditSimplePlantNameSearch.do%3Bjsessionid%3D43D8DCBF94D043364C20D86DA8150314%3Ffind_wholeName%3DDischidia%2Brafflesiana%2B%26output_format%3Dnormal
  5. http://rejang-lebong.blogspot.com/2011/04/dischidia-dischidia-rafflesiana-wall.html
Credit Photo :
Eef Bkl, location : in situ, lebong regency, rejang land, south west sumatra, Indonesia.
Aknowledgement :
Special thank you Kucai Yong, to identify ID the photos.

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