Forest Flame (Strongylodon lucidus) is a woody vine, also known as Pink Strongylodon.  It is flowering prolifically at the present, but its Daintree Rainforest flowers are reddish-orange.  The image above also shows a Golden Orb-weaver Spider Nephila pilipes) in the lower right corner, no doubt aiming to catch the butterflies and bees that will be attracted to the colourful display.Strongylodon is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. The most well-known species of this genus is Strongylodon macrobotrys, also known as Jade Vine.  Legumes are important plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation.  They contain symbiotic bacteria, rhizobia, within nodules in their root systems, which produce nitrogen compounds that help the plant to grow and compete with other plants. When the plant dies, the fixed nitrogen is released, making it available to other plants and thereby helping to fertilize the soil.

Strongylodon lucidus has pea-like flowers on long-stemmed drooping racemes, or clusters.  Its fruit forms cylindrical pods about 5-cm long and 1-cm wide, on stalks with 1 or 2 seeds.  Nature Conservation Act 1992 lists Strongylodon lucid us as “Near Threatened”.  The increased flowering this year has resulted from Cyclone Ita, a category 3 cyclone that hit Daintree Rainforest in April 2014.  This is part of the increased regeneration that cyclones cause.

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