Dischidia vidalii Becc.
Ant Plant, Bladder Vine, Kangaroo Pocket, Kangaroo Pouch, Thruppence Ravioli Plant
Dischidia vidalii is native to the Philippines and grows as an epiphyte on bamboos.
Dischidia vidalii is an interesting climbing plant with slender stems that bear fleshy, pale green leaves and modified leaves that form a purse-like pouch filled with roots. The stems are climbing or hanging, rooting at the nodes, and can grow up to 10 feet (3 m) long. The leaves are oval or lance-shaped with a pointed apex and can reach up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long and 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) wide. They are attached to the stem by a short petiole. The modified leaves are the same colors as the normal leaves on the outside, brown-red on the inside, and measure up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide.
The flowers are bright red to magenta, arranged in umbels, and appear in the leaf axils all year round.
This plant has a symbiotic relationship with ants. Its modified leaves provide shelter for ants, while the ants help to guard the plant against pests and fertilize the plant with their waste products.
USDA hardiness zone 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Allow the soil to dry out before you water the plant. They are used to getting moisture only from dew and the air and cannot tolerate boggy media. When the bark medium is dry, submerge the container in water until air bubbles are gone.
Dischidia also needs high humidity. Mist the plant daily or place the container on a saucer filled with pebbles and water. The water will evaporate and moisten the air, while the pebbles will hold the sensitive roots out of the water.
Dischidia doesn't need fertilizer, but you should change the planting media yearly. If you wish, apply a liquid plant food diluted by half when you water beginning in spring and stopping by September.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Dischidia.
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