Friday, March 11, 2011

The Ant House Dischidia

While trekking in our extreme Zambales adventure, we came across this plant. It is a Dischidia, probably D. pectinoides. It is related to a Hoya, epiphytic and has a unique adaptation. Some of its leaves are balloon-like. They are said to be like this to accommodate colonies for ants to live in. It is a symbiosis developed in nature, where the host plant provides shelter and at the same time the animal provides much needed protection (and in some cases pollination) in return. Another illustration that every organism has a particular role in the forest. Remove it and some other species depending on it may also suffer in the chain reaction.

1 comment:

Plant Chaser said...

That is so cool! I'll have to read up some more on this ant house. -- Bom