Aristolochia gigantea

Aristolochia gigantea
Botanical Garden Meise

Aristolochia gigantea or Giant Dutchman’s Pipe is a vigorous climber with remarkable, huge flowers up to 30 cm long and 15 cm wide.

The flowers are smaller and less smelly than those of Aristolochia grandiflora.

It is a very easy plant that grows abundantly. It is suitable to rapidly cover a wall or fence. In USDA zone 8 it can be grown as an annual outside.

Description:

Aristolochia gigantea is a vine that can climb 20 meters high but usually grows 5-10 m high. The bark is cork-like and deeply grooved.

The leaves are egg or heart-shaped, alternate, densely covered with white hairs on the underside, measuring up to 15 cm long and 11 cm wide. The color is a beautiful bright green.

The flowers appear singly or in groups on older lots. They have somewhat the shape of a pipe and measure up to 30 cm long and 15 cm wide. The color is dark red with cream-colored veins. They spread a carrion smell to attract flies for pollination.

The fruits are sausage-shaped capsules, 8-13 cm long and 1-3 cm wide, which burst open when mature to release the numerous seeds.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Calico Flower, Dutchmans Pipe, Giant Dutchman’s Pipe, Pelican Flower

Synonyms:

Aristolochia clypeata, Aristolochia cordiflora, Aristolochia sylvicola

Etymology:

Aristolochia: from the Greek aristos (excellent, best) and lochos (delivery), which would refer to the afterbirth.
Gigantea: from the Greek giganteios (gigantic).

Origin:

Panama to Brazil

Habitat:

Tropical forest and stream banks.



Hardiness:

USDA zones 10-11, 0 °C

Care:

Soil:

Is satisfied with any soil, provided that it is well drained.

Exposure:

Full sun to partial shade.

Water:

Water moderately in the summer, tolerates short periods of drought.

Fertilizer:

Fertilize monthly during growing season.

Pruning:

Prune late in the winter or early in the spring to give some model to the plant and limit growth.

Propagation:

Seed

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seeds in water for 48 h
  • plant 1 seed per pot, in a light sowing mix
  • mist the substrate so that it is moist but not wet
  • cover the pots to limit evaporation
  • place the pots in a warm place with at least 6 h of sunlight per day. When not enough light, complement with a growing lamp.
  • germination: 15-30 days
  • can be planted outside once the temperature reaches 20 °C

Image sources

  • Aristolochia gigantea: Own work

Buy on eBay.com:


Buy on eBay.co.uk: