Sarcandra chloranthoides is a very ancient flowering plant belonging to the Chloranthaceae family, the evolutionary origins of which remain obscure. Its primitive flowers have no petals or sepals and consist of a single ovary and a single stamen protected by bracts. Native to Southern India and Sri Lanka this evergreen shrub with its terminal clusters of non-descript flowers attracts pollinators with a scent and nectar reward. It is thought that it first evolved some 120 million years ago, as fossil flowers very similar to Sarcandra have been found in rock deposits of this age.
Photographer: Dave Newbury
Copyright: University of Bristol
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