18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla)

The common name of this species reflects its flowers’ resemblance to Meerschaum pipes. It is a vigorous climber with large, heart-shaped leaves and small, brown and cream flowers, which are pollinated by insects. Aristolochia flowers attract insect pollinators by emitting a notoriously unpleasant smell of rotting meat, and that of Aristolochia macrophylla flowers is the worst of all! The fruits, which have the appearance of parachutes, split into six segments to release the flat, wind-dispersed seeds. This species is a host for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor). The butterflies feed on the flower nectar, and their caterpillars on the leaves.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2020
Date Uploaded: 08.2020
Photo Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Copyright: © Levon Biss