Boquila

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Boquila
Boquila trifoliata.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Lardizabalaceae
Genus: Boquila
Decne.
Species:
B. trifoliolata
Binomial name
Boquila trifoliolata
Synonyms[1]
  • Boquila discolor (Kunze ex Poepp. & Endl.) Decne.
  • Dolichos funarius Molina
  • Lardizabala funaria (Molina) Looser
  • Lardizabala trifoliolata DC.

Boquila is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the family Lardizabalaceae,[2] native to temperate forests of central and southern Chile and Argentina. The sole species is Boquila trifoliolata (DC.) Decne., called pilpil, voqui, voquicillo, voquillo, and voqui blanco in Chile. It grows vines that wrap around host plants, mimicking the host's leaves in a phenomenon called mimetic polymorphism.[3] It bears an edible fruit (Boquila berries).

This species has been shown to be capable of mimicking the leaves of its supporting trees.[4]

Ernesto Gianoli said "Boquila's leaves are extraordinarily diverse. The biggest ones can be 10 times bigger than the smallest, and they can vary from very light to very dark. In around three-quarters of cases, they are similar to the closest leaf from another tree, matching it in size, area, length of stalk, angle, and color. Boquila's leaves can even grow a spiny tip when, and only when, it climbs onto a shrub with spine-tipped leaves."[5] When there are no nearby host leaves to influence them, the normal leaves of B. trifoliolata are relatively short and light green with rounded edges.[6]

Boquila, unlike other plants capable of mimicry, does not require physical contact to match its host.[7]

Mimicry[edit]

Boquila trifoliolata is unique because of the ability of its leaves to mimic those of the hosts that are supporting them, a phenomenon called mimetic polymorphism.[8] This plant's climbing behavior protects it from ground-dwelling herbivores, and leaf mimicry is a protection against leaf herbivores.[9] B. trifoliolata differs from other plants that can mimic a host, like the Australian mistletoe, because it is not limited to mimicking a single host and because it is not a parasite to the host tree. An individual B. trifoliolata vine can mimic multiple kinds of foliage that are closest in proximity to it.[10]

See also[edit]

  • Lardizabala, a related species also grown for its fruit

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  2. ^ SB Hoot, A Culham, PR Crane, 1995. The utility of atpB gene sequences in resolving phylogenetic relationships: comparison with rbcL and 18S ribosomal DNA sequences in the Lardizabalaceae. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 194-207
  3. ^ "ScienceShot: 'Chameleon' Vine Discovered in Chile". Science | AAAS. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  4. ^ Gianoli, Ernesto; Carrasco-Urra, Fernando (2014). "Leaf Mimicry in a Climbing Plant Protects against Herbivory". Current Biology. 24 (9): P984-987. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.010. PMID 24768053.
  5. ^ Ed Yong (24 April 2014). "The Most Versatile Impressionist In the Forest". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  6. ^ "The Sneaky Life of the World's Most Mysterious Plant". Phenomena. 2016-02-19. Archived from the original on 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  7. ^ Ed Yong (24 April 2014). "The Most Versatile Impressionist In the Forest". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  8. ^ Yirka, Bob (2014-04-28). "Researchers Discover Vine that is Able to Mimic Multiple Hosts". Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  9. ^ Gianoli, Ernesto; Carrasco-Urra, Fernando (2014). "Leaf Mimicry in a Climbing Plant Protects against Herbivory". Current Biology. 24 (9): P984-987. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.010. PMID 24768053.
  10. ^ Pannell, John R. (2014). "Leaf Mimicry: Chameleon-like Leaves in a Patagonian Vine". Current Biology. 24 (9): R357–R359. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.066. PMID 24801183.
  • Media related to Boquila at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Boquila at Wikispecies