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.