30 Sep '15, 3am

Amazing plants in MacRitchie by @lekowala

This plant is quite common throughout our forests and even in disturbed areas. But along the trails in Macritchie, one can easily find this ant-plant so looking for it will be easy. Once you find it, you can marvel at the biology of this plant . In the photo below starting from the top of the main stem, you will see ants feeding on white food bodies called Beccaria bodies on the lower surface of the leaf like structure called a stipule. In other plants the stipules function to protect a young bud and fall off after the new leaf forms but here the stipule persists and curves into a dark purplish dome and continue to offer food and shelter to the ants. In return for the food, it is presumed that the ants offer protection to this plant from herbivores. That’s not all – the ants that live in the hollow of the stem farm scale insects. These scale insects feed on the sap of the ...

Full article: https://lekowala.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/amazing-plants-...

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