Thanks once more to Eric La Fountaine for today’s photograph and write-up (wish I had traveled to tropical places during my break, but perhaps you’ll see a photograph from my holiday trip on Friday or Saturday). Eric writes:
The centipede or tapeworm plant (the second name seems more accurate, but the first is much more appealing) is native to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. However, it is cultivated as an ornamental in other tropical areas. The plant grows to a metre tall, although the one in this photograph exceeded that height. The green segments shown in this image are known as phylloclades; these are short flattened photosynthetic shoots that function much like leaves. The leaves (one visible on the right) and the flowers are sessile, or borne directly from the stem without a stalk. Small red fruits will follow the flowers.
The Polygonaceae, or buckwheat family, contains 48 genera and approximately 1200 species. Variations in morphology in the family range from trees and shrubs to vines and herbs.