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Dischidia albida Griff., is an ant-garden species for which seed is incorporated into the arboreal nests by resident ants. See (Orivel & Leroy 2011. )


Dischidia parvifolia Henry Nicholas Ridley published in Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums 5, .1914.  Already mentioned under D. astephana, it does not have ant-domatia raising questions about its contribution if any to its myrmeco-epiphyte communities. This provides the background.  Dischidia astephana Scortechini (ex King & Gamble) published in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Part 2, Natural History, 1908.


This unique species possesses domed, bullate and imbricating leaves.  The word bullate is often used in popular literature to describe the saccate (sac-like) domatia leaves of section Ascidiophora but this is a somewhat extended usage. However, the word bullate as primarily used by botanists aptly describes the distinctly blistered or bumpy leaves of this trunk-clasping species. It also has attractive red flowers, which is something of a rarity in this genus and young leaves can be distinctly hairy.


The species is found throughout Peninsular Malaysia especially on Leptospermum flavescens or Dacrydium trees at montane elevations around 2000 m. (6562 ft.) Indeed, both this species and a frequent close companion D. parvifolia are often the only epiphytes tolerated on host trees by resident Crematogaster ant colonies that kill other invading plants.


Each ant colony occupies hollows in the trunk and major branches of a single tree where they excavate rotting core tissues to enlarge their nests.  (Weir & Kew 1985.)  Both D. astephana & D. parvifolia grow out of such hollows with their roots dispersed throughout the decomposing tree cores, a substrate enriched by the rubbish and excreta of both ants and varied detrivores.


Although D. astephana leaves are domed, resident ants do NOT nest or deposit their rubbish beneath them but the plants probably do gain better access to leachates and perhaps even concentrated COemissions.

  The seeds of both D. astephana and D. parvifolia seeds are attractive to resident ants that take them to their nests where both plant species gain opportunities to germinate and grow from tree cavities.  It seems that although D. parvifolia has no ant-house abilities, it is using similar ant-manipulative scents to those produced by D. astephana seeds; hence, D. parvifolia is probably a semi-parasite of the D. astephana & Crematogaster mutualism.  (Weir & Kew 1985.)


In some peninsular Malayan sites, D. astephana co-occurs with the ant-house fern Lecanopteris pumila, itself very frequently inhabited by Crematogaster treubi ants and these myrmeco-epiphyte assemblages dominate their local arboreal communities.  Indeed, D. astephana replaces D. major in very abundant myrmeco-epiphyte assemblages that can include Hydnophytum formicarum, Myrmecodia tuberosa, Dischidia nummularia, and Pachycentria constricta or P. glauca in some of the nutrient poor heath forests of Borneo.  It would seem that D. astephana is adaptable concerning its immediate ecosystem. (Weir & Kew 1985.)


D. astephana likes good light which brings out some most attractive red colours in its foliage, as well as adequate moisture and being a high altitude tropical species it needs mild temperatures.


Dischidia rimicola Arthur Francis G. Kerr published in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information Kew 463, 1939.  Although this species is associated with ants, it is not an ant-house species but another that grows out of tree hollows, usually from a single root. Ants are attracted to its seeds probably by olfactory stimuli and take them to their nests where they germinate. The species is known from Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.


Dischidia striata Elmer, LPB 10 (1938) 3566, not validly published, no Latin description. Syntypes: Elmer 10481, Mindanao: Davao, Mt Apo, Todaya, in forest, altitude 4000ft, May 1909; Elmer 16874, Luzon: Sorsogon prov., Mt Bulusan, Irosin, in forests, altitude 1000ft, Aug 1916.  See: www.philippineplants.org/Families/Apocynaceae.html  where there is more information.

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on the herbarium sheet :


D.parvifolia  and D.astephana seem to have not the same leaves , no?


D.striata  seems to have been published by SCHLECHTER in Botanische Jahrbucher von Engler may be in 1914




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There is a Conchophyllum striatum from Sulawesi that is a shell leaved species.  It is very close to D. imbricata but has some differences in the flowers.  Perhaps that is the species which you are looking for?


D. parvifolia and D. astephana do not have the same leaves.  I will try to post a photo of D. parvifolia later for you to see.  The leaves are very small (hence the name) and are typical laminate leaves like most Dischidia.  This species is just usually found growing with D. astephana as its seeds are apparently attractive to ants.

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the 1 and 2 are D.parviflora ? the leaves form are not the same , no?

Conchophyllum striatum = Dischidia striata ?

on my Dischidia striata herbarium sheet I d'nt see this shell leave and the leave of the D.imbricata herbarium sheet seem not the same.

see my PM please


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