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Valentine.gr  

September 2009

Did you know that the aquamarine color of jade vine's flowers is nearly unique in the plant kingdom?

 Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys leaves and flower

Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys

The jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) is a native of the tropical forests of the Philippines. Its flowers are the color of jade, and hang in bunches up to 90 cm long; each clawlike flower is about 7½ cm long. In its native Philippines, the jade vine's flowers are pollinated by bats.

Jade vine is an evergreen twining vine with thick woody stems an inch or more in diameter and growing to 70 ft (21.3 m) or more in length. The leaves are trifoliate with three oblong leaflets, each about 3-5 in (7.6-12.7 cm) long, the middle one largest. In spring and early summer jade vine bears bluish green claw shaped flowers 3-5 in (7.6-12.7 cm) long in huge hanging clusters up to 5 ft (1.5 m) or more in length. The inflorescence is truly amazing. The cylindrical pea pods which follow are about 2 in (5.1 cm) long. The pods are quite unlike the typical legume pod and contain up to 12 seeds.

S. macrobotrys is prized in tropical and subtropical gardens for its showy flowers which are a highly unusual blue-green. It is usually grown over a pergola so that the flowers may hang down below where they can be seen easily. In South Africa the jade vine is mainly restricted to the warm humid strip of coastal Natal but grows in a few frost-free spots inland. The superficially similar red jade vine is in fact a species in a different genus, namely Mucuna bennetti.

The aquamarine color of jade vine's flowers is nearly unique in the plant kingdom. Hanging amidst lush tropical foliage, the flowers are practically luminescent. Jade vine is cultivated in Hawaii for the flowers which are used in leis.

The common name is derived from the purple color of the seed pods. Other English names include Gray's jade vine (after Asa Gray [1810-1888], the American botanist who described and named this vine in 1854) and emerald creeper. 

The jade vine actually belongs to the pea family (mame-ka, Leguminosae). It has some 27 recognized species, naturally distributed from Madagascar across the islands of the Indian Ocean, including Sri Lanka, New Guinea and the Philippines. The generic name, Strongylodon, comes from strongylos, the ancient Greek word meaning round, and odous, a tooth, referring to the rounded teeth found on the flower's calyx. The species name, macrobotrys -- "large grapelike clusters" -- refers to the seeds' appearance.

The jade vine is pollinated in the wild by bats. The bats hang upside down to sample the jade vine’s nectar, and the plant gently brushes pollen onto the bat’s head while it drinks. The next plant the bat visits collects the pollen from the first before brushing its own pollen to be transported elsewhere. It is a great example of co-evolution in action: the plant and the bat have evolved to work perfectly in cooperation with each other.

In its natural habitat, ñestricted to the rainforests of the Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro and Catanduanes Islands), S. macrobotrys is in great danger of extinction. The vine only grows in the deepest, darkest tropical rain forest, which is being felled for timber. The rainforests of the Philippines are disappearing at an alarming rate – originally the islands were almost completely forested, but a 1988 survey estimated that only 20 per cent of the forest remained. The speed at which the rainforest is vanishing adds a sense of urgency to Kew's research into the jade vine’s floral biology.


Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_vine
http://www.floridata.com/ref/S/stro_mac.cfm
http://250.kew.org/Plants/KEW_050358.html
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fe20000927a1.html

 

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Champak - Magnolia champaca
Hooker’s lips - Psychotria elata
Suicide Tree - Cerbera odollam
Konjac - Amorphophallus konjac
Madagascar ocotillo - Alluaudia procera
Water Banana - Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Salak - Salacca zalacca
Natal Plum - Carissa macrocarpa
Ashanti blood - Mussaenda erythrophylla
Duranta - Duranta erecta
Maqui - Aristotelia chilensis
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Suriname cherry - Eugenia uniflora
Australian Finger Lime - Citrus australasica
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Velvet Bean - Mucuna pruriens
Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
Marimo - Aegagropila linnaei
Achocha/Caigua - Inca cucumber - Cyclanthera pedata
Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
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Iceplant - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Chayote - Sechium edule
Roselle - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Black Goji - Lycium ruthenicum Murray
Rose Cactus - Pereskia grandifolia
Durian - Durio zibethinus
Jackfruit tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Cassabanana - Sicana odorifera
Chilean myrtle - Arrayan - Luma apiculata
Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
Waterwheel - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
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Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Man’s Fingers - Decaisnea
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Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
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Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
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Caper - Capparis spinosa
Lithops - Living Stones
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Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
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Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma
Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
Paulownia - Paulownia tomentosa
Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard lily
Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
Cannonball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Tamarillo - Cyphomandra betacea
Goji - Wolfberry - Lycium barbarum
Vanilla - Vanilla Planifolia
Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
Pachypodium
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Sturt pea - Swainsona formosa
Clematis
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Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
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Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
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Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
Firewheel Tree - Stenocarpus sinuatus
Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
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Astilbe - False Goats Beard
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Cassiope
Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
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Field Poppy - Papaver Rhoeas
Narcissus - Daffodil
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens
Firethorn - Pyracantha
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Calendula - Marigold
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Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
Oak - Quercus
Brunsvigia - Candelabra Flower
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Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
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Oleander - Nerium Oleander
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Chaenomeles - Flowering Quince
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Amaryllis - Hippeastrum
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Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
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Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
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Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
Heliconia
Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
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Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
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