Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia Gigantea).

Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia Gigantea).

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Credit: MARTYN F. CHILLMAID/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: This enormous - up to 30 cm long - flower of a tropical vine attracts insects with a sweet scent. It is not a carnivorous plant but traps insects with stiff hairs overnight to ensure pollination. It has many names, but the Dutchman's pipe refers to the shape of an old tobacco pipe. The petals of the pipe flower are fused together and are colored with a maroon and white netting effect, like a giant beefsteak. In the "mouth" there is a central yellow spot where an opening leads into a closed pouch. The back view of the flower superficially resembles a pair of lungs with a canal leading into a stomach-like pouch. On both sides of the flower are new heads in different stages of development. It is native from Panama to Brazil where the vine can climb 20 metres. Photographed in Gironde, France.

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Keywords: aristolochia gigantea, aristolochia sylvicola, bilaterally symmetrical, biological, biology, birthworts, blossom, botanical, botany, climber, dutchman's pipe, flora, flower, france, giant pelican flower, gironde, insect pollination, nature, pipe vine, pipe-shaped, plant, pollination, trap flower, vine

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