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Dischidia pectenoides, Ant Plant

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Dischidia pectenoides
Family: Apocynaceae   (Formerly:Asclepiadaceae)
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Ant Plant
Origin: Philippines
Groundcover and low-growing 2ftVine or creeperShadeSemi-shadeEpiphyteRegular waterOrnamental foliageRed/crimson/vinous flowers

Dischidia pectenoides is a curious little climber. Some of its leaves look like tiny balloons. In nature, the balloon type leaves provide shelter for ants in exchange for carbon dioxide. Has tiny red flowers. The wiry stems of this species are thin, twining, and rooting freely. It has oblong leaves that taper at the apex, and grow 3/4-inch long, and 3/8-inch wide. Some leaves are hollow, pear-shaped, and grow to 4-inches long, opening at the base. This foliage is used as a food storage area for ants. The whole plant is greyish-green, except the small, purplish-red flowers that appear in the leaf axils in spring. To grow this plant successfully, place it in a warm, shady position with something to twine its branches around. The older this plant gets, the faster it produces growth.

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