Ant Plant (Myrmecodia Tuberosa)
$22.00 incl. GST
Overall Height APPROXIMATELY 12cm
- Myrmecodia tuberosa is widely distributed throughout SE Asia and N. Australia.
- Unlike its close relative Hydnophytum, it is armed with spines that concentrate at its caudex.
- However, its most effective mode of protection is its tenant - the ants.
- Mind you these are certainly not the docile critters we are familiar with - they earn their keep!
- It has been reported by Maschwitz et al that ants from the genus Cladomyrma would linger more than an hour on the body of an unfortunate botanist.
- It will inflict painful bites that resulted in red itchy dots for days.
- Its means of protection is so effective that even pollinators are deterred - its small tubular white flowers being self-pollinating.
- The berries may be dispersed by the ants themselves but their bright orange color also attract birds like flowerpeckers which can take them in mid-flight.
- Throughout its range, both Myrmecodia tuberosa and Hydnophytum formicarum are consumed by local communities for medical purposes.
- The water boiled with the whole plant is taken as a tonic for the liver, heart, digestive system as well as a wide range of ailments like cancer, hepatitis, and rheumatism.
- 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) to 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic).
- It doesn't really need fertilizer but you should change the planting media every year.
- If you wish, apply a diluted by half liquid plant food when you water beginning in spring and stopping by September.
- Full Sun to Partial Shade.
- Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings.