Climbing birthwort flower

Climbing birthwort flower

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This image is part of the feature The world's Stinkiest Plants

Credit: VAUGHAN FLEMING/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Climbing birthwort flower or Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia sempervirens). The flowering part of this vine acts as a pollination trap. The purple colour and foul smell attract insects to the oval entrance (yellow) of the flower. As they crawl down inside the tube, the inward-pointing hairs (white) prevent their escape. The bulbous chamber (far right) contains the reproductive parts of the plant which the insects fertilise with pollen carried from other plants. The plant also releases its own pollen onto the insect. The imprisoning hairs wither soon afterwards, allowing the insects to carry the fertilising pollen to other plants. Photographed in Crete, Greece.

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Keywords: aristolochia sempervirens, biological, biology, botanical, botany, climbing birthwort, crete, dutchman's pipe, european, flora, flower, flowering, flowers, greece, greek, insect, nature, plant, plants, pollination trap, reproduction, reproductive, wild flower

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