Saturday, August 15, 2015

Coral vine (অনন্ত লতা) - Antigonon leptopus

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Bengali Name : Ononto lota (অনন্ত লতা).
Common Name : Mexican creeper, Coral vine, Honolulu creeper, Love vine.
Botanical Name : Antigonon leptopus
Family : Polygonaceae

In Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) we call this flowering vine as Ononto lota (অনন্ত লতা), means ever ending vine. But it doesn't imply that the flower is native to our Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ), rather it is native to North American region which is very far from here! May be this plant was introduced by the Christian missionaries in past. And later some renowned poet or writer might have given that beautiful Bengali name.

Anyway, the worldwide acceptable names of the plant are Coral vine, Mexican creeper, Honolulu vine, etc. Botanical name of the vine plant is Antigonon leptopus and it belongs to the family Polygonaceae.

Coral vine (অনন্ত লতা) is an evergreen vine plant that grows very fast and crawl around using the tendrils. The leafs are heart shaped and slightly waved around the margins. Vines (or stem) are rectangular shaped. This plant is drought tolerant and doesn't require that much care. In some regions this plant has been marked as an invasive one.

Flowers are pink or white in color but the white one is rare in our Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ). It has six pink sepals which are also having a shape of heart when they are closed (not bloomed). Flowers are showy and blooms a lot in a cluster from the axil of leaf and vine. This beautiful Coral vine (অনন্ত লতা) flower attracts lot of bees and butterflies with the color and the nectar inside of it.

Having lot of flowers on the plant helps it to produce a lot of seeds. Those seeds can easily float over the water and can travel a long distance for dispersal. Also some other insects and birds use to help moving the seeds.

Could it be the reason for the flower to have a name 'Hearts on a chain'?

This flower has another name that is Love vine. It can be the heart shaped leaf or the heart shaped closed flowers. It also has another name which is 'Hearts on a chain'.

I have taken the photos of this flower from the Mintu road (মিন্টু রোড) of Dhaka during May and June of 2015. It is just at the opposite of the Romna (রমনা) park gate. GPS coordinate is [23°44'32.04"N, 90°23'54.52"E]. Apart from this, you can find the vine a lot around the Dhaka University area (specially near around the Fular road). You can see the vine crawling around the walls if you just observe the area carefully.

Flowers blooms on a barbed wire.

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh as mentioned below:
1) May & June 2015: Minto Road, Dhaka (মিন্টু রোড, ঢাকা).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

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