Dischidia pectenoides, Ant Plant

Dischidia pectenoides

Ant Plant
Family: Apocynaceae    (Formerly:Asclepiadaceae)
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Origin: Philippines
USDA Zone: 11-12?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapGroundcover and low-growing 2ft plantVine or creeper plantSemi-shadeShadeRegular waterEpiphyte plantRed, crimson, vinous flowersOrnamental foliage

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.

Similar plants:

Link to this plant: