Myrmecodia

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Myrmecodia

 

a genus of plants of the family Rubiaceae. They are epiphytic subshrubs with tuberous thickened stem bases, which have numerous cavities that are often inhabited by ants. The role of ants in the life of Myrmecodia has not been determined. The outside of the tuberous stem is covered by adventitious roots, which in some species have become thorns. The shoots are short and four-edged, and the leaves are opposite. The flowers are small and white; the fruit is a berry. There are approximately 45 species of Myrmecodia in Southeast Asia, northern Australia, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji.