Plant Mimics Other Plants To 
Avoid Herbivory

Lab Report

By: Ann Northrup

Ann Northrup spent her undergraduate years at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in microbiology….

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In the temperate rainforest of southern Chile is a newly described woody vine with some astounding characteristics not previously found in any other plant species. Boquila trifoliolata is observed to mimic the size, color, thickness, shape and attachment angle of the leaves of various support plants, presumably so it will not be noticed by herbivores. If the vine is in contact with more than one kind of tree, it will adjust its leaf morphology to match each support.

Current Biology, Volume 24, published online March 2014