All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

<strong>Dutchman's Pipe</strong>
<em>Aristolochia macrophylla</em> /Birthwort Family<br>
These flowers are difficult to find and photograph because they usually bloom high in the trees, they are under large leaves, and they are a greenish-yellow colo...
Dutchman's Pipe
Aristolochia macrophylla /Birthwort Family

These flowers are difficult to find and photograph because they usually bloom high in the trees, they are under large leaves, and they are a greenish-yellow color. I got lucky to find this one growing on a rock along the Piney River Trail. Note the ant on the flower. These flowers give off an odor that attracts little flies which are temporarily trapped inside the flower. After pollen is released on the insects the flower opens again and the flies go on to another flower to pollinate it. Watch for the spiky black and red Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars on the leaves, their food source.
The family name Birthwort alludes to the fact that the flower looks like a fetus (if you really use your imagination!). People once believed that plants that look like a body part could be used to treat diseases or problems with that body part, this practice was called the "Doctorine of Signatures". This plant was used to aid in childbirth (don't try this at home!).
Perennial - Vine
Where seen:Great Smoky Mountains NP, Norris Dam SP, Frozen Head SP, Piney River Trail, Warriors' Path SP

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