I think I am stressed. Which explains why I am blogging so often.
Anyway this is Blechnum vestitum or commonly known as Parkia. It was very common along the lower stretches of the climb up to Kinabalu. The young fronds are a nice red color which the locals consume as a vegetable.
Tasty when fried.
Why are the fronds red? This is a common survival strategy employed by most plants. Young leaves/ fronds are very tender and generally favored by predators. Young leaves without chlorophyll have a higher chance of higher as they resemble old leaves which are about to drop of. The herbivores are thus deceived by the color and leaves them alone.
By the time the leaves mature and has chlorophyll, it has more cellulose deposited on it and hence presents a tougher meal for any potential predator.