Jade Vine Facts
- Its highly unique nature ranks as the most noteworthy fact about the gorgeous Jade Vine. The beauty of this plant conceals the point that it’s actually a legume. Botanists list them as closely related to beans such as the runner bean and kidney bean.
- While the seed pods of the species remain technically edible, the plant is not for consumption. It does have other uses, though. That’s true because of the sheer beauty of the flowers it produces. Cultivators grow it mostly as an ornamental species.
- For now, the IUCN does not have a classification of the species on its Red List of Threatened Species. But, experts consider it endangered due to its limited range and the threats it faces. These primarily include habitat loss and climate change.
- The species has another unusual distinction, separating it from related species. Unlike the majority of plants, a specific bat species forms the primary pollination of this species. Certain butterfly species also play a small role in its pollination, however.
Jade Vine Physical Description
The bright and beautiful Jade Vine grows as a perennial vine. Plus, the remarkable plant also has a fascinating trait. That holds true due to the fact that it doubles as a legume. The strong and fast-growing vines can attain lengths of as much as 59 ft (18 m).
The impressively resourceful plant also clings to and climbs on virtually anything it encounters. This source of support primarily consists of trees within its native environment. The leaves of the vine have a pale green color and consist of three leaflets.
When these leaves fall, a surprising transformation takes place. This holds true due to the fact that at that time, these turn to either a dark blue or purple in color. The seed pods of the Jade Vine rarely exceed 6 in (15 cm) in length. These often contain up to 15 seeds.
Yet the flowers of this visually stunning plant understandably garner the most attention. That’s partly because the claw-shaped blooms hang in trusses consisting of as many as 75 flowers. These remarkable trusses can reach lengths of as much as 9.8 ft (3 m).
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Order: Fabales
- Family: Fabaceae
- Genus: Strongylodon
- Species: S. macrobotrys
Jade Vine Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Since the stunning Jade Vine grows natively only in the Philippines, its habitat is quite restricted. Even there specimens only occur in regions of montane and tropical forests. It appears most often beside streams or in ravines, the latter for unknown reasons.
This amazing species has also been transplanted to a few other regions of the world. This artificial distribution most notably includes the country of South Africa. The species further has a strong presence in greenhouses and botanical gardens worldwide.
Its unique pollination relationship with bats arose due to a very specific reason. This occurred as a result of the shape of its distinctive blooms. The vines also generally intertwine themselves along the branches and trunks of trees, creating a network.
A mature vine of this species requires about two years to flower and produce fruit. Most commonly, the plant amazing grows prolifically in its native habitat. Unfortunately for those who attempt to grow it, it remains difficult to propagate in cultivation.