Tapeworm Plant
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Tapeworm Plant
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Anjulika
Common name: Tapeworm Plant, Ribbon bush, Centipede Plant
Botanical name: Muehlenbeckia platyclados    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)
Synonyms: Homalocladium platycladum, Polygonum platycladum

Tapeworm plant is native to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. It is cultivated as an ornamental in other tropical areas. The plant grows to a metre tall. Apparent leaves looking like green segments, are actually phylloclades - short flattened photosynthetic shoots that function much like leaves. The leaves the small green flowers are stalkless, borne directly from the joints of stem without a stalk. Small red fruits follow the flowers.

Identification credit: Soham S Kacker, K.L. Chaudhary Photographed in cultivation in Manipur.

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