Erycibe coccinea (Convolvulaceae)

Erycibe coccinea DSC_0935 (4)

“A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books”. I agree with Walt Whitman.

But you ain’t gona find no Erycibe ever at your windowsill.

Erycibe coccinea DSC_0935 (1)

Erycibe is no ordinary morning glory. If you did not already know that Erycibe is from the morning glory family, you probably would not have thought it belonged there. But it does.

Erycibe coccinea DSC_0935 (3)

Erycibe is a denizen of the lowlands, it is a stout liana that weaves through the rainforest profile.

Few would be able to tell Erycibe from the hundreds of species of other twisted liana stems, unless one has the knowledge of making stem blazes and recognizing plants from that. You might even notice that the blaze turns dark upon exposure. These plants have a dark energy!

Or if you could recognize lianas by their stem cross-sections, maybe you may recognize the patterns they show.

Erycibe coccinea DSC_0249 (4)

The leaves do not seem to help much either. They do not follow the heart-shaped template that give people fuzzy feelings inside and which is associated with morning glories.

These leaves of Erycibe are like, well, leaves of any rainforest species you’d expect to see – very unforgiving to those who have plant blindness.

But at least we could say that the leaf stalks have dark brown hairs, and so do the leaf buds and flowerbuds. Again not so morning glory like.

Erycibe is the dark cousin of morning glories – they reek of mystery.

Yet when those Erycibe flowerbuds burst open they present flowers of pure white. They are a glory to behold.

So yes, no Erycibe to satisfy me at my windowsill. I must go to the forest to find Erycibe, who is for me metaphysics personified. And the only forests where I will find them is in Northeast Queensland.

The fruits of Erycibe I have yet to see.
They are part of the mystery of Erycibe that I have yet to be privy to.

This is part and parcel of being a acolyte of plants. Plants reveal mysteries to you in their own time.

But I heard that Erycibe’s fruits are red (thus the “coccinea” in the name).

Bright blood red.

About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory family), Endemics, Habitat - Rain forest, Lifeform - Climbers, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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