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Anthorrhiza camilla


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Anthorrhiza camilla Matthew Jebb published in Blumea 37 (2) 1993.

  Tuber globose, small, to 15 x 10 cm, surface irregular, green, spined, and with a single, large 1- 4 cm entrance hole at its base and numerous smaller (1.5- 2mm.) round and lipped entrance holes on its surface and apex including near the stem. Spines reach 1.6 cm long, are irregularly stellate with 1- 5 branches.  Internal tunnel/chamber complexes have both warted and smooth-walled examples.  Stems one or two, upcurved, to 25 cm long, 2.5 cm thick and are more densely covered with spines that are even more branched than tuber spines; they are up to 2.5 cm long and have 8- 20 side branches

  Infauna: According to Huxley & Jebb 1991, invariably inhabited by Anonychomyrma scrutator (my correction) ants (? but see A. caerulea.)

  Habitats/Record: A low-level epiphyte in mossy forests occurring at altitudes of 1600-2000 m. (5249-6562 ft.)  It was discovered by Dr Camilla Huxley in Morobe Province, 8 k south of Garassa airstrip on the PNG mainland.

Anthorrhiza camilla.jpg]


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The plant in Thirnbeck's most interesting image is a Myrmecodia taxon. https://www.flickr.com/photos/thirnbeck/467820589/in/pool-1475761@N21

  Although there is only a hint of stem, it lacks the dense spines of A. camilla. Also, the very distinct circle of ant openings (more so than those on Anthorrhiza) is a feature of a number of Myrmecodia tuberosa "forms" sensu Huxley & Jebb.

  Anthorrhiza C. R. Huxley & Jebb, (Camilla Rosalind Huxley & Matthew H. P. Jebb) published in the Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 60, (1990).

  Description. All species have a single inflorescence in one axil at each node, but this may be hidden by dense spines; flowers are 4 merous. Myrmephytum are similar but have six merous flowers, the only hydnophyta to do so. According to C. R. Huxley & Jebb, lowland Anthorrhiza species somewhat resemble Hydnophytum while species occurring at or above 1600 m. (5249 ft.), are superficially more like Myrmecodia.

  Habitats range from sea level to around 3000 m. (9843 ft.) primarily in stunted, undisturbed or disturbed forests on poor soils, and on agricultural trees. (Huxley & Jebb 1991b.)

  Range. The genus currently consists of nine species primarily from the Papuan (or Bird’s Tail) Peninsula in southeast Papua New Guinea and islands situated in the Massim, an ancient Melanesian inter-island trade region now part of Milne Bay Province. This places the genus quite some distance from Myrmephytum another small hydnophyte genus that conversely occupies the Bird’s Head (Vogelkop) and Bomberai Peninsulas of West Papua Province, Indonesia, which sits at the opposite north-west end of New Guinea Island with more species in the Philippine islands to the north. No Anthorrhiza or Myrmephytum are recorded in the central New Guinea land mass that sits between, except for C. R. Huxley & Jebb’s little known Myrmephytum sp1 collected at Dalman, 45 km inland from Nabire on the north-west coast of Papua Province, West New Guinea Island, which however, is not far from the isthmus that leads to West Papua Province.

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