Hydnophytum formicarum Jack, Trans. Linn. Soc. London 14: 124 1823. (Syn: Hydnophytum blumei Becc.; Hydnophytum borneense Becc.; Hydnophytum formicarum subsp. blumei Boerl. ………….; Hydnophytum montanum Blume; Hydnophytum montanum var. latifolia Miq.; Lasiostoma formicarum (Jack) Spreng.);
Indo-China to New Guinea (Waigeo Island): Andaman Is., Borneo, Cambodia, Jawa, Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Philippines, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam as per POWO;


The Ant Plant_RKC_180511:
Sending herewith the images of Hydnophytum formicarum Jack, popularly known as the ‘Ant Plant’.
The plant belongs to one of the five known genera of tuberous, epiphytic, myrmecophytes (plant that lives in a mutualistic association with a colony of ants) belonging to the tribe
Psychotrieae, subtribe Hydnophytinae of the family Rubiaceae.

In India, it is distributed in Andaman. Recently, it was posted by … also but quality of the photographs were unfortunately not upto the mark.
Recently I came across this plant at Nha Trang city of Vietnam (ca 200msl) and thought of sharing the details with eFlora group.
Distribution: Andaman Island, S. Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Fiji and the Cape York Peninsula in Australia.
Notes: Listed as critically endangered in Vietnam and Singapore. Probably rare in India too.
    Hope you’ll like this post.

Very nice pictures of the interesting plant.

The photographs and info. are great.

Came across this at Sarawak, Borneo. Presume this is the same tree.

Looks same to me!

if it is critically endangered then we should make an effort rescue it through some technique like tissue culture or simply an ex situ conservation effort. those who have access to this plant at any point of time can get some of the tissue sample…


Rubiaceae week: Hydnophytum formicarum at Andaman:
This one is also called as “Ant Plant“.

Bot. name: Hydnophytum formicarum
Family: Rubiaceae

Thanks … for showing this plant again. More details can be found in the thread


Flora of Andaman 11- 311210-PKA2: 3 images
I had spotted this almost Football size bulb on a Mangrove tree  at Baratang (Andaman & Nicobar).

Date/Time: 22-12-2010 / 09:30AM
Location: Mangrove forest cover at Baratang
Habitat: Wild

Great. I imagine, I have seen such bigger galls in mangrove only in Bhitarkanika. And I think, there are two different species of orchids too.

Is this not a Hydnophytum or Mymecodia? Antplants that grow epiphytically and can become quite large. It seems like the shoots growing out of the “ball” has the right shape on the leaves.
I have just returned from the Andamans but only saw Hydnophytum on Mount Harriet.

This is Hydnophytum formicarum of Rubiaceae. Popularly known as ‘Ant Plant’. (Myrmecodia tubers are spiky).  Recently I came across this plant in Vietnam where it is listed under the threatened category. It is distributed from Andaman islands to S. Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia.
    This plant is of interest to botanist and ecologists owing to the symbiotic association of ants and the plant.

.. is 100% correct. This is Hydnophytum formicarum (Rubiaceae) the famous ant plant. This plant mostly occurs in Mangrove trees but i have noticed them also in high altitude areas like Mount Harriet, Mount ford and
Saddle peak in Andaman Islands. This is a very interesting plant having a bulb with numerous channels in it housing ant colonies. The ants in turn helps to protect herbivory to some extent but the main advantage to the
plant if the excreta and other residues left but ant provides nutrition to the plant.