Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hydnophytum- Part 9

For some reason, this does not look like a typically antplant. The basal tuber is not large relative to the leaf, there are few signs of ant entrance holes or looks like it can house ants. The tuber is also hairless or thornless. This is Hydnophytum simplex. The epithet simplex is probably means simple in Latin... but my google search gives veneral disease - herpes simplex and simplex as in geometry. Nevertheless, anything that comes from Aru Island off New Guinea in the Arafura Sea is rare in cultivation and very exotic. The attractive bright red berries in the insert is borned on a "branch" like cauliflory or "stem flower".

With big leaves and photosynthetic green tubers it likes ample water however, it is surprisingly tolerant of water stress. It does not shed leaves in response to drought. Instead the leaves curl-up and young leaves develop permanent deformity if water stressed.

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