Hydnophytum moseleyanum is part of the Rubiaceae family and its native range is the Philippines to Papuasia. This exclusively epiphytic plant is often found occupying mangrove trees and it has a complex mutualistic relationship with Philidris ants; it is a myrmecophyte (ant-plant). It gains sustenance from the excrement and detritus of the ants and the ants use the honeydew excreted by the scale insects that are attracted to the new shoots of the mangrove trees.
Hydnophytum moseleyanum has a chambered caudex at the base of their stems, this provides a home for the ants. The caudex can reach up to 30cm across under optimal growing conditions. The leaves are slightly succulent and sit upon long, thin stalks, in the axil of the leaves small, subtle flowers can grow, which are followed by yellow-orange berries.
Genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek hydnon meaning truffle, and phyton meaning plant.
Hydnophytum will not attract ants to your home, don’t worry :)
Pot: ø 8.5cm.
Height: Approximately 15cm from base of pot.
Light: Bright indirect light, meaning the plant sees the sun for 0-4 hours per day - this could be through trees or a translucent curtain, it’s important for the plant to see the sky in order to thrive.
Water: Water just before the medium completely dries out, use tepid water.
Potting mix: Orchid substrate is recommended, you could also mount your plant on some cork bark with sphagnum moss. The roots of Hydnophytum are very brittle, so take great care when repotting, however, the plants are capable of producing new roots from any part of the tuber that is in contact with a moist substrate.
Fertilising: Feed monthly during spring and summer.
Temperature: A minimum of 18˚C, up to 25˚C.
Humidity: Higher humidity, 60% minimum.
Hydnophytum are toxic, keep out of reach of pets and children.