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Gardens

Plants: Species

Dutchman's Pipe Aristolochia gigantea

FAMILY: ARISTOLOCHIACEAE (Birthwort Family)

One of the wildest looking vines is the giant Dutchman's pipe Aristolochia gigantea, a native of Brazil. With its heart shaped leaves, and huge, carnivorous-looking flowers, the vine is quite an eye-catcher. San Diego Zoo visitors often assume the vine's dark flowers, which resemble curved, large-bowled pipes, are carnivorous. The flowers don't eat insects, however, but just attract and briefly capture them in order to get pollinated.


Other Dutchman's pipes include Aristolochia californica, a California native, and Aristolochia macrophylla, from the eastern U.S.