Around November 2015, Tan Teo Seng brought me a bunch of pinkish, grape-like fruits from Johor, Malaysia. The fruits were eventually identified as Cayratia mollissima (formerly Vitis mollissima), belonging to the grape family, Vitaceae. I could not find any common name among the local literature but wild grape would serve the current purpose. The plant is native to Singapore although its conservation status is reported to be “threatened”. It makes an excellent ornamental plant for the fence.
I hung the fruits in my garden for about a week but no animals (squirrel, civet cat, mynas, bulbuls…) would eat them. Eventually the fruits dropped one by one to the ground. I collected the seeds, placed them in a pot of soil and grew the plants by my fence. They have now flowered (above) and there are plenty of ants and bees pollinating them: Stingless bees (Trigona sp.) (below)…
…and Asian Hive Bees (Apis cerana) (below). Note the prominent blob of yellow compacted pollen grains on the outer surface of the hind legs of the bees.
The National Parks Board link mentions pollination by bees and the larvae of the plume moth (Deuterocopus melanota) have been observed to feed on the floral buds.
Fruits are now appearing and I will be monitoring for other fauna that may be attracted to the fruits (as well as the plants in general).
2nd July 2016