Chilean Boquila Vine at the RBGE – Does our plant mimic the other plants around it?

I was reading an online articles in National Geographic  and Science about a Chilean Vine Boquila that can change it’s leaf shape and colour to mimic other plants around it and I wondered if any of the collections of this plant we have growing at the RBGE exhibit this phenomenon.

So I looked in the online database to see where the plant was growing and found we were growing one 100m from my office, so I popped out for a look.


The individual plant has many different leaf shapes and leaf colours, but was it mimicking any of the plant on either side?


Hard to tell – the plant is growing in T05 (in front of the main range) a bed currently undergoing extensive redevelopment. There  are no longer plants on either side of it, they have been moved (or removed) for the redevelopment.

– Just bad timing!

I am now going to try to get to see this plant at other locations in the RBGE (inc. at Benmore & Logan) to see if any of the other plants show signs of  being a plant mimic.

Original Scientific article here.

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  1. Rob Cubey

    Robert Cubey

    I mentioned this to two botanists from Chile who are visiting the RBGE and they both were very intrested and agreed they too have independently observed this behaviour by the species. Now I must get to see the others in the RBGE collection, I really want to see it in real life.