Tuesday, May 10, 2016

White-veined Dutchman's Pipe

White-veined Dutchman's Pipe, Aristolochia fimbriata
White-veined Dutchman's Pipe is a South American trailing vine that prefers indirect sun to partial shade. It is drought tolerant, evergreen in warmer climates, and blooms from Spring until Autumn. The unique shape of the flowers allows for guaranteed pollination as insects as drawn by the stench into the tube of the flower. In order to escape, the insect must navigate downward pointing hairs which result in a coating of pollen. The growing popularity of White-veined Dutchman's Pipe is its ease of growth and its contribution to the Pipevine Swallowtail population; similar to monarchs, Pipevine Swallowtails feed specifically on Aristolochia spp. for its noxious chemicals which they incorporate into their defense mechanism. The common native species, Woolly Dutchman's Pipe, with thicker leaves better suited to large batches of swallowtail larvae, is not as easily accessibly to home gardeners at this time.