Aristolochiaceae (birthwort family) "Dutchman's pipe"
Aristolochia is a large plant genus with over 500 species.
Collectively known as birthworts, pipevines or Dutchman's pipes, they
are the namesake of the family (Aristolochiaceae).
Distinctive 6 inch flowers that look like pelicans from the side, shaded and netted purple and brown. Leaves are heart-shapped to 8 ins across, growing on a vine. A unique and rare species.
The flowers grow in the leaf axils. They are inflated and globose at
the base, continuing as a long perianth tube, ending in a
tongue-shaped, brightly colored lobe. There is no corolla. The calyx
is one to three whorled, and three to six toothed. The sepals are
united (gamosepalous). There are six to 40 stamens in one whorl. They
are united with the style, forming a gynostemium. The ovary is
inferior and is four to six locular.
These flowers have a specialized pollination mechanism. The plants are aromatic and their strong scent attracts insects. The inner part of the perianth tube is covered with hairs, acting as a fly-trap. These hairs then wither to release the fly, covered with pollen.
The fruit is dehiscent capsule with many endospermic seeds.