Triplaris cumingiana

Well, let’s see if the multiple email notifications glitch happens again…

A thank you to wlcutler@Flickr, aka Wendy Cutler, for sharing today’s image of Triplaris cumingiana from her recent visit to Florida, where she visited Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Much thanks, Wendy!

Triplaris cumingiana, known commonly as long-john, is native to Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. As explained by Georgia Tasker on one of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden blogs (weblog article), it is also known as ant-tree, as the trunks are hollow and can be inhabited by stinging ants when growing in habitat. It seems the ant species associated with this tree, Pseudomyrmex triplaridis, was named after the genus.

Both male and female flowers are shown in Wendy’s photograph. The female (pistillate) flowers are the far showier ones, while a couple male (staminate) flowers are present near the top left of the image. A few side-by-side images of the male and female flowers, as well as many additional photographs of this species and a botanical description, are available via the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute: Triplaris cumingiana.

Botany and mathematics resource link: A continuation of the earlier Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant video from last month, here are part 2 and part 3, concluding the series from Vi Hart. And, using what you learned in the those 3 videos, you’ll quickly see why this was necessary: an Open Letter to Nickelodeon, re: SpongeBob’s Pineapple under the Sea.

Triplaris cumingiana

10 responses to “Triplaris cumingiana”

  1. Sue

    I became very familiar with this tree in the Amazon River my first trip there. I was a bit overwhelmed by the variety of trees and was working hard to learn to identify at least a few species. I made the mistake of grabbing a branch of this flowering tree to take a closer look. Ants swarmed out and bit or stung me with ferocity. My hand and forearm swelled up and remained that way for a month or so. On the bright side, I learned to readily recognize this species of tree and subsequently noticed that many cleared pastures along the river still had one or more Triplaris trees standing in them. I think I know exactly why those specific trees had been left standing. Nice photo!

  2. john voss

    another beautiful discovery (for me)
    thanks as always
    (and no multiple glitch on this end- I actually enjoyed the cascading ponderosas!)

  3. phillip

    …let’s see if the multiple email notifications glitch happens again..?
    ..i consider getting one notification as being lucky..!

  4. Janey Pugh

    Is there another Tropalaris suriansis (?) known as Long John.
    This one here is lovely.

  5. quin ellis

    nice links and lovely photo as usual, thanks Wendy – color so right for Valentine’s Day – Happy, Happy All!

  6. Diana Ferguson

    Never cease to be amazed at the photo contributions – this is so lovely. Thank you, Wendy.

  7. Wendy Cutler

    I’m glad you liked my photo. I LOVED the SpongeBob’s Pineapple Under the Sea video and the designer’s blog response. Thanks for posting that here!
    Sue, thanks for the story. I had no idea how lucky I was, though I’d like to think in the botanical garden that they’d have warned us if we were in danger of being bitten by ants.

  8. Mary Beth Borchardt

    Especially liked the beautiful color combination of the flower to the leaves, a most enjoyable visual delight. When viewing the link on the pineapple house, I stumbled upon another one on flowers, and if you are interested in leaf spacing, continue on to parts 2 and 3. I found it delightful, but not surprising as nature is the greatest teacher to me.
    http://youtu.be/ahXIMUkSXX0

  9. Ron B

    Same or otherwise participating ants may not be present at Fairchild.

  10. Gabriella

    a really nice picture, beautiful

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