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Anthorrhiza areolata

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Photo by Derrick Rowe.  This plant was found at Sewa Bay,  Normanby Island, D'Entrecasteaux Islands, Milne Bay Province,  Papua New Guinea.


The unripe fruit by Derrick Rowe


The caudex with entrance by Derrick Rowe


The inflorescense by Derrick Rowe.


The flower by Derrick Rowe

Author:  C.R. Huxley & M.H.P. Jebb, 1991
Family:  RUBIACEAE
Origin:  Papua New Guinea
Soil:  No; Epiphytic - Moss
Water:  Maximum
Sun:  Minimum-Medium
Thickness:  25 centimetres
Height:  50 centimetres
Flower:  White
Propagate:  Seeds
Names:  Ant plant
Synonyms:  -
This epiphytic member of the Rubiaceae family was described by Camilla Rose Huxley and Matthew H. P. Jebb in 1991. It is found in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. The hollow and rough caudex will grow to 25 centimetres in diameter, the branches reach 50 centimetres in length. The flowers are white on this ant plant, while the fruits are orange-red.

The genera name from Green anthos; 'flower' and rhiza; 'root' for the root-derived spines around the flowers. The specific name describes the roughened, areolate surface of the tuber, which readily distinguishes this species.

Key to the Species of Anthorrhiza.
1a. Spines present on stem….................................2.
1b. Spines absent on stem or very few…............... 7.
2a. Spines largely, but not exclusively confined to
    the inflorescence forming a cushion in the leaf axils.
     Leaves 4-10cm wide…................... ................... 3.
2b. Spines scattered on stem. Leaves usually less
     than 4cm wide…................................................. 4.
3a. Inflorescence with fleshy ridges separating
    flower-producing tissue. Spines straight, usually
    dense on tuber. Corolla lobes greenish white.
    Anthers cream................... Anthorrhiza echinella.
3b. Inflorescence without ridges of tissue. Spines
    gently curved, usually sparse on tuber. Corolla
    white. Anthers bl........Anthorrhiza  recurvispina.

4a. Lamina less than 8cm long, stipules persistent,
    rounded…......................... Anthorrhiza  stevensii.
4b. Lamina more than 10cm long, stipules caducous
      (easily shed), triangular or rounded…............... 5.
5a. Stem dorsiventral, (flattened + distinct upper
    and lower surfaces) more spines on upper side,
    spines light brown to blackish. Leaf margin
    crinkled. Corolla blue…..... Anthorrhiza  caerulea.
 Camilla Rose Huxley & Matthew H. P. Jebb in 1991. Papau New Guinea, 15 centimetres in diameter.  One or rarely two, unbranded stems. Pale blue/turquoise flowers. Fruits orange.
5b. Stem radially symmetrical, rarely dorsiventral.
    Spines golden brown. Leaf margin flat. Corolla
    white to greenish white........................................ 6.
6a. Inflorescence bracts leathery, splitting regularly,
    apiculate, persistent. Petals with long slender
    lobe tips….............. Anthorrhiza  chrysacantha.
6b. Inflorescence bracts papery, tearing irregularly,
    not apiculate, caducous (easily shed.) Petals
    acute-rounded….................. Anthorrhiza camilla.
7a. Inflorescence covered by leathery and
    papery bracts. Fruit with 4-8
    pyrenes........................... Anthorrhiza bracteosa.
7b. Inflorescence sunken or covered by a dense
    cushion of bract hairs. Fruit with 2 pyrenes….....8.
8a. Tuber surface smooth. Leaves to
     17x7cm. Inflorescence narrowly cordate
      in outline…............................. Anthorrhiza mitis.
 
 Camilla Rose Huxley & Matthew H. P. Jebb in 1991. Papau New Guinea. Diameter 30 centimetres, height of caudex 26 centimetres Total?. Several unbranched stems. Flowers whit, fruits orange-red.

8b. Tuber surface areolate (roughened by
     areolae). Leaves to 11x4cm. Inflorescence
     arch-shaped in outline....... Anthorrhiza areolata.

A key to the genera of the HYDNOPHYTTNAE is found on the Myrmecodia alata page.


The leaves by Derrick Rowe.