The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: Aristolochia (dutchman's pipe, birthwort)

A: Aristolochia is another noncarnivorous plant which has the honor of having non-standard yet highly visible flowers. There is a strange interaction going on here, involving the attraction and temporary capture of insects. But it is all about pollination, and not carnivory.

Care to learn more? Plug the word Aristolochia into your favorite web search engine. There are many species. The common name "birthwort" comes from the apparent resemblance of the flowers to a wobbly hunk of placental mass. I find this horrifying. I have also heard (on lesser authority) that the crumpled floral tube and chamber is supposed to look like a strangley contorted embryonic human. Again, this is horrifying.

Page citations: Mabberley, D.J. 1987; personal observations.

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Revised: March 2009
©Barry Rice, 2005