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An Exotic
World of Plants

The Plants
of the Palm House

Homalocladium platycladum

English names: tapeworm plant, centipede plant, ribbonbush

Latin name: Homalocladium platycladum

Family: Knotweed - Polygonaceae

Origin: New Guineau, the Solomon Islands

This shrub grows 120 to 240 cm. tall. Its long, leafless stem resembles a tape measure: it is flat, about 1.3 cm. wide and divided into segments. Older stems are more rounded. The leaves, 2.5 - 5 cm. long, appear only on new growth and are not hardy. In late autumn and winter, greenish-white or pink flowers may appear on the joints that connect the stem segments. The red fruits may be eaten, but their taste is not good.

Homalocladium platycladum