Thank you Mr. Alain Filiz for the beautiful donation of a "Bull-horn" Vachellia cornigera this week!
Upon entering the garden, you can now see the tree planted between the two tall stand of palms. You won't miss it's unique, swollen thorns, resembling horns of a bull.
Native to Central American and Mexico, this tree is most known for its incredible symbiotic relationship with ants.
The ants (Pseudomyrmex ferruginea) are the protector. In the the tree's native rainforest, under thick canopies, plants compete for the dappled sunlight and space. Any epiphytic vines or trees that are in the way of
the Vachellia cornigera are chomped on by the ants. Any insects that try to eat the tree's fresh leaves will be stung and chased away. Even browsing mammals stay clear of this tree and its fierce allies.
The tree emits a chemical, when wounded, that the ants detect and respond to quickly, protecting its host at all times.
In exchange for the protection, the tree takes on the provider role, giving the ants everything they need in terms of food and shelter.
Glands on the stalk secret sweet nectar for the adult ants to eat. Brownish pods at the end of the leaf are nutrient packed snacks for their larvae. The ant larvae live in the hollowed out thorns, through holes dug at the base.
It is hard to measure what benefits the most from this
symbiotic and mutualistic relationship between the ants and the tree.
Though the tree does not have much to worry about here, we are excited to see if a relationship forms between the ants of the garden and this new Vachellia cornigera!
Caladium Plants are
now available at the garden!
Our nursery is your new resource for native plants.
If you have questions about any of the plants that we carry