Centipede Tongavine
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Centipede Tongavine
P Native Unknown Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Centipede Tongavine, Dragon-tail plant
Botanical name: Epipremnum pinnatum    Family: Araceae (Arum family)
Synonyms: Epipremnum elegans, Pothos pinnatus, Rhaphidophora pinnata

Centipede Tongavine is a large tree-dwelling aroid root-climber, scrambling up trees and rock surfaces with network of aerial clasping roots. Leaf morphology varies with physiological age of plant. Juvenile plants are terrestrial creepers. Plant produces mature leaves only when there is sufficient climbing height. Young leaves are elliptical to arrow-shaped with entire margins. Mature leaves are up to 30-50 cm long, thick and leathery, ovate and pinnatifid (deeply incised along margins), often with white spots and pin-holes along mid-rib, and with fenestrations (windows) in leaf-blade - superficially resembling Monstera species. Flowers are small, 3-7 mm across, on spathe-spadix inflorescences. Spathe is canoe-shaped, 10 cm long, greenish on outside, creamy-white on inside. Aggregate berries are clustered on medium-green spadix, red when ripe, containing small brownish seeds embedded in sticky orange-red pulp. Centipede Tongavine is native to Tropical & Subtropical Asia to Pacific, mostly cultivated.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

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