With its long hanging stems of jade-green flowers, the jade vine is one of the most beautiful and elegant of all tropical vines. It is a member of the same family as peas and beans, the Leguminosae. The plant has been grown at Kew for many years, but until 1995, it had never produced seed. After careful studies of the flower structure, scientists from the Jodrell Laboratory managed to pollinate the flowers successfully so that seeds developed.
The jade vine originates in the rainforests of the Philippines, a scattered group of 7100 islands in tropical Asia. The rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate - originally the islands were almost completely forested, but a survey estimated that only 20 per cent of the forest remained by 1988. The speed at which the rainforest is vanishing adds a sense of urgency to our research into the jade vine’s floral biology.
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You can see a jade vine in the Asian (northern) wing of the Palm House
Search Kew's electronic Plant Information Centre for scientific information about Strongylodon macrobotrys