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Aristolochia thread

I don't know if there's an Aristolochia thread already, but I decided to start one. These are cool plants that are in no way carnivorous, but they do typically trap their pollinators for a day or so, releasing them when their pollen matures.

Aristolochia chilensis, first time bloom. Plant at my mom's. Origin: Annie's Annuals. All photos are of the same first flower, today, Aug. 5.

Here's a different species, Aristolochia fimbriata, blooming in early July:

A leaf:

The base (it's considered a caudiciform, and went dormant last Winter and Spring):

One of my earliest memories is hanging out with a friend up the street in the "cave" created by a massive Dutchman's Pipe vine, A. macrophylla. Istarted a couple from seed two years ago, but lost them last winter. I definitely need to try them again. But if they aren't winter hardy I just don't have the space.
Here's another one, to bloom soon. The flowers can get as big as 10 inches, but I suspect this one will be smaller.

Aristolochia gigantea. I originally bought the plant at Kartuz, gave it up in a move, but got back a rooted cutting from Grassy Knoll Exotics.

Amazing genus, wish I had the room for these. Can't wait to see the A.gigantea when it opens ! Great looking plants as always Randy.
A.chilensis is one I had not heard of. An oddball among oddballs. Might have to hit you up for some cuttings after I move !
I'm hoping A. chilensis will start making seeds. Unfortunately the first flower fell off without, but there are 3 more buds. I've asked around and people seem to think it's self fertile. Whether it's self-pollinating is a different story, as Aristolochias typically have receptive stigmas before the pollen matures. That's the whole point of trapping insects with the inward facing hairs. The stigma is receptive when they are trapped, and when the pollen matures the hairs shrivel, freeing them. A. fimbriata (and I think many other species) almost always makes seed, so we'll see what happens here.

The problem with cuttings is that the plant is small, with two "vines" about 6 and 12 inches long. The longer one is forming buds right now. Also, the species is tuberous, and I've been told it's better started from seed for that reason.
I've been searching for a A.Chilensis for ever!!
So beautiful they look like little furry ears :) thanks for sharing makes me want one inn my collection even more though!! Lol

And congrats on ur mothers plant having its first bloom :)
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  • #10
I had A. chilensis seedlings a couple years back, but they never got very far....meanwhile, still working on finding a spot where my A. gigantea and cymbifera Gonzaga are happy...they're growing, but no big leaves or flowers just yet, just a lot of vine.
  • #11
Here's the A. gigantea bud this morning. Close to 6 inches, so I'm hoping for a big flower.

  • #12
That is a neat plant. One of my favorite Aristos. The flowers, strangely enough, smell exactly like lemon Pine-Sol for a time. When crushed, they've got the traditional Aristolochia scent, but the flower itself isn't bad or rotting or anything.

We've got some A. gigantea blooms about to pop, and I'll have to make sure to bring the camera! And a recent development this year: I managed to find an A. gigantea 'Brasiliensis' at Dan Long's nursery. That's supposed to be significantly larger, with the lobes of the flower being longer and hanging like dumbo ears. It's about to bloom too, and prove that right or wrong. Stay tuned....
  • #13
That's funny, I always describe it as exactly like Lemon Pledge. Regardless, is probably the same artificial lemon scent. It is a pleasant scent coming from the flower.

Not all A. giganteas have the scent, one reason I'm really happy with this clone. I do have seedlings of A. gigantea brasiliensis, seeds from a grower in Israel. I'm still waiting for those to bloom.
  • #14
I forgot to post this here when it opened a couple days ago. The flower is 6 to 6 1/2 inches, or on the small side for this clone.

  • #15
You know, I actually think that an aristolochia was what led me to grow carnivores. Great thread, thanks for all the pictures
  • #16
I wanted to update this thread for a few reasons:

First, to encourage more discussion and more pictures of this genus, which although unrelated to CPs, does demonstrate some similarities due to convergent evolution. I would expect many Aristolochias would intrigue those interested in CPs. Instead of pitchers, flowers are specialized to catch pollinators for a day or so through the presence of inward pointing hairs. Once the bugs are covered with pollen, the hairs shrivel, so that insects can leave and find another receptive flower to pollinate. So the trapping mechanism is for "catch and release", not digestion.

Second, I ran across an amazing paper on a variety of Aristolochia grandiflora which is the longest known flower on earth. The photos are incredible. The flowers, including the "tail" can get as big as 7.2 ft long.

Finally, I wanted to update some of the photos destroyed by Photobucket or otherwise. I couldn't find a photo of Aristolochia macroura anywhere on the forum, which is one of the coolest species.

I don't grow any Aristolochias at the moment.

First, the Aristolochia grandiflora paper:

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  • #17
Photos of Aristolochia macroura, growing in Sunnyvale, California:



This species is very easy to propagate, by the way, even from single node cuttings.
  • #18
The photos above of Aristolochia chilensis got damaged by Photobucket. Here they are again. My mom's plant, in San Carlos, California. 25588021_786041748250740_5062391024560731721_o-1.jpg


  • #20
Aristolochias are commonly called dutchman's pipes right, they ae kinda crazy neat vines . will definetly have grow some this or next spring if im able get some seed . ty for heads up @RandyS .