The appropriately-named jade vine is displaying pendent racemes in the Tropical House.
The striking racemes of this climber can reach 90cm in length hanging beneath a canopy of evergreen, trifoliolate foliage. The individual flowers are claw-like in appearance and a luminous jade green in colour. Each individual flower contains a pool of nectar, which attracts bats who hang upside down to feed on the nectar. While doing so the plant brushes pollen onto the bat’s head, and when the bat visits the next flower the pollen from the first flower is deposited on the second flower to assist pollination. Reaching 20m in height this member of the pea family (Fabaceae) is a native of the wet tropical rainforests of the Philippines, where it is under threat due to rainforest destruction. The generic name comes from Greek for rounded (strongylos) and tooth (odous) in reference to the rounded teeth of the calyx, while the specific epithet macrobotrys means grape-like cluster and refers to the shape of the racemes of flowers.