Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Dischidia major (Vahl) Merr.

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Gentianales
Family:Apocynaceae
Genus:Dischidia
Species:D. major
Common Names:Raffles' Dischidia
Status:Common

Description

A slender, epiphytic climber with simple, small, fleshy leaves that are almost round, 6-12 cm long, green under shade and yellow with purple undersurface when exposed to the sun. Some leaves enlarge into large pitcher leaves that occur in clusters, oblong, 5-13 cm long, hollow, purple inside and covered with roots. These pitcher leaves are inhabited with ants. Flowers are about 6 mm long, greenish yellow and arising from a 6-12 cm long inflorescence stalk. Fruits are slender, curved and 7.5-10 cm long. They split open to release the many plumed seeds.

Read more about the Gentianales order.
Read more about the Apocynaceae family.

Localities

Pulau Semakau, Pulau Ubin, Pulau Tekong, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

General Biology

This epiphytic plant provides homes to ants in their pitcher leaves. The ants bring in debris and the plant sends roots into the pitchers to make use of the nutrients available in the debris.

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Henderson, M.R. 1959. Malayan wild flowers - Dicotyledons. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 478 pp.

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