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  Myrmecodia tuberosa Jack
  Family Name : Rubiaceae

  Synonyms : Myrmecodia armata, Myrmecodia echinata, Myrmecodia rumphii

  Common Names : Ant Plant, Periuk Hantu, Perutak, Sembuku

Ant Plant,Periuk Hantu,Perutak,Sembuku
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Shrub (Woody), Epiphyte
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Maximum Height :
      0.4 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      From Southeast Asia to the Solomon Islands, and northern Australia
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest; Mountain; Secondary Rainforest; Monsoon Forest; Coastal Forest; Freshwater Swamp Forest; Riverine), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Presumed Nationally Extinct (NE))
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: It is an epiphytic shrub, with stems arising from a swollen tuberous base. The tubers are irregularly round to oblong, up to 40 by 15 cm, and usually with prickles on the outer surface and inner cavities within the tubers.
      Foliage: Its opposite, stalked leaves have thinly leathery leaf blades that are elliptic to narrowly drop-shaped or spatula-shaped and 7.6–47 by 2.5–14 cm.
      Flowers: Its flowers are bisexual, white, each with 4 petals, and develop in few-flowered clusters that are sunken into the stem.
      Fruits: Its fruit is a fleshy drupe that is yellow, orange-red to pink when ripe, egg-shaped to somewhat round, and about 7 mm long.
      Habitat :
      It usually grows on trees in mangrove forests along the coast, in lowland to montane, swamp, and riverine forests, up to 2500 m altitude.
      Associated Fauna :
      The cavities of its tubers are inhabited by ants. The flowers are most probably pollinated by ants. The seeds are also dispersed by ants, as well as small frugivorous birds.
      Cultivation :
      It can be propagated by seed.
      Etymology :
      Myrmecodia, from the Greek word myrmekodes, full of ants; Latin tuberosa, with tubers, referring to the swollen base of the stem of this species
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Medicinal (The tuber can be pounded and used as a poultice to treat swellings and headache.)
      [Others]: It is cultivated as an ornamental plant.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      It may be suitable for parks and roadsides as it is an interesting epiphyte that can be grown on trees.
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Form
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Shallow Media (8 -10cm)
      Landscape Uses :
      Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Skyrise / Balcony, Hanging Basket, Bonsai
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch, [Remarks] (Swollen stems inhabited by ants, which may bite while defending the plant which they live in.)
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna)
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Biotic (Fauna)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Little Water, Occasional Misting
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Leathery, Thin
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate; Elliptical; Spathulate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Stem Type & Modification :
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
      Flower Symmetry :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Orange, Pink, Red, Yellow / Golden
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Fleshy Fruit (Non-Accessory Fruit: Drupe)
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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