Beautiful blue fruits of the Lasianthus shrub

Lasianthus attenuatus RUBIACEAE from Macritchie

Lasianthus attenuatus RUBIACEAE

Picture taken by Lim Cheng Puay, Sunday 20 Oct 2013

This is a shrub found in Macritchie.  It belongs to the coffee family Rubiaceae which has opposite leaves and interpetiolar stipules on either side of the stem.  The striking metallic blue fruit is a drupe (a fruit that is fleshy and surrounding a pit or stone which has a hard shell with a seed inside) and is crowned by the calyx which shows that the ovary is inferior.

It’s challenging to identify plants from a tropical rainforest as diverse as that found in Macritchie but knowing family characteristics can help narrow down the identity. Its a pity we don’t know the forests we have better as they are much more diverse than many forests elsewhere.  But the diversity can be overwhelming and limit our understanding if we do not try to get to know it better.

More pictures and info from the websites below:

http://floraofsingapore.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/lasianthus-attenuatus/  (Flora of Singapore)

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=117649 (Flora of China)

http://wikis.wheatonma.edu/rainforest/index.php?title=Rubiaceae (Wiki page on Rainforest plants from Wheaton College, Norton MA.)

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