Ant Tree
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Ant Tree
ntroduced Photo: Jayesh Patil
Common name: Ant Tree, Long John, Mulato Tree, Long jack
Botanical name: Triplaris weigeltiana    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)
Synonyms: Blochmannia weigeltiana, Triplaris surinamensis

Ant Tree is a tree growing up to 5 m tall or more. Leaves are nearly stalkless, 10-22 cm long, 4-6 cm wide, acute apically, wedge-shaped at the base, entire, longitudinally lined, and with numerous pairs of prominent lateral veins. Flower spikes are 6-10 cm long, bearing numerous ovate to ovate-lanceolate, hirtellous bracts, pistillate perianth accrescent and enclosing the fruit, three of the sepals much enlarged, 2.8-3.2 cm long, 4-5 mm wide, suffused red purple, showy. Achene are about 1 cm long (including the style), the styles red purple. Ant Tree is native to South America.

Identification credit: Jayesh Patil Photographed in Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore.

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