Aristolochia ridicula

Dover, NJ

Hello all,

I got this vine last fall on one of Liz's ebay auctions. I found out the hard way that it does not like cold or even cool temps. It got damaged over the winter, but a new shoot came up this spring, and it looks to be recovering nicely. It is a very fast grower, and from the looks of it, it is probably one of those vines that can climb a 20 or 30 foot tree in its native habitat. I did not expect any buds or blooms until late summer, so I was quite suprised when I found a bud on it this morning (whoo hoo!). I don't know how long it will be before it opens, but it is quite an unusual flower. Here is a pic of the bud:

Mark

Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
Dover, NJ

Here is a pic of the vine. It still looks kind of scraggley.

Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
Dover, NJ

Here is a link that shows what the flower looks like when it blooms.

Mark


http://mpeixoto.sites.uol.com.br/aristo/ridicula.html

St. Paul, MN(Zone 4b)

Congratulations Mark! How exciting. This Aristolochia is on my list. I hope to add it to my collection someday. Please make sure to post pictures in the coming days. The vine may look a bit scraggly now, but I'll bet it fills out nicely this summer.

Erick

Gulfport, FL(Zone 9b)

...and the weenie awakes from it's winter hibernation!
These South American Dutchmen are a hearty lot. Right when you think they're dead, they sprout new growth from the roots and we're off and running!

So glad it worked out, Mark

Liz

Tolleson, AZ(Zone 9a)

Wow love this vine.

Dover, NJ

Hello all,

The flower opened today--actually it might have opened yestereday afternoon--I'm really not sure. I took lots of pics!

It has a slightly unpleasant odor that is difficult to describe. I would rate the odor a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the worst. I could only smell it if I was about a foot or foot and a half away. So far, I have not seen any flies going into it.

Mark



Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
Dover, NJ

Here's a slightly different angle:

Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
Dover, NJ

Here's another:

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Dover, NJ

From the side:

Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
Dover, NJ

Here's a close up of the protuberances--I'm not sure what their function is, if any:

Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
Dover, NJ

A close up of the throat:

Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
Dover, NJ

Another angle of the throat. Flies check in, but they don't check out!

At least not right away.

Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
Gulfport, FL(Zone 9b)

Alien beings have landed! Run for your lives!!!
Don't you just love it?
The weird and wonderful world of vines...

Dover, NJ

I have 2 more baby buds. Plus, a 2-day old seedling!

Mark

Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
St. Paul, MN(Zone 4b)

Mark,

That is absolutely amazing! I am drooling like a baby. That is a contender for the most amazing Aristolochia bloom I have ever seen. Congratulations! And your pictures are outstanding. Should you have extra rooted cuttings someday in the future, I would be THRILLED to purchase one from you.

Wow!

Erick

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4a)

Wonderful flowers and great pictures. I also really like your portable trellis setups. Did you buy or make them?

Susan in Minneapolis

Gulfport, FL(Zone 9b)

Yes! Great trellis! Where did you get them?

Dover, NJ

Hi Susan and Liz,

I made the trellis myself--the wheels are nice cause I can move it around the patio, or to a different spot around the yard if need be.

Erick, I hope to have seeds by the end of the summer, but will also try to make some cuttings, since those would be easier to overwinter. I'm sure we can do a trade.

The "petals" of the flower uncurled today, and almost all of the hairs in the throat withered, so if there were any flies in there, they were able to get away. Alas, there was no other open flower for them to pollinate.

Here's a pic:

Mark

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Dover, NJ

Here's a view down the throat showing the withered hairs:

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Here is its cousin "Gigantea" from last year. And of many vines I planted last year in my zone, thus far one has came back.
Kim

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Dover, NJ

Today the petals of the flower curved inward, and the flower withered a bit. When I went to check it at sundown, it had fallen from the vine. So, it looks like the flowers last 3 days. On day 1, it has a bit of a smell to attract flies, and hairs to keep them in the flower once they go in. On day 2, the hairs wither and the flies (hopefully laden with pollen) can leave to pollinate another flower. On day 3, the flower withers and falls if it has not been pollenated.

Here's a pic with the petals closed:

Mark

Thumbnail by LouisianaMark
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Mark,
It's the most intrigue object of all vines.

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

Mark, that is the wildest looking vine I have ever seen. I hope it makes tons of seeds (hint! hint! LOL). I am still waiting for A. elegans to flower for me. Maybe this year.

Joseph

Gulfport, FL(Zone 9b)

Mark, you're bloom chronology is worth posting for all to see. If you have a website, add it, or at least add your photos and info to the DG database. Great photos and observations! Thank you!

Dover, NJ

Hi Liz,

I'm going put most of these in the Plant files, but I want to wait until after the second flower opens to confirm my notes so far. It should only be a couple of weeks now. I have 3 buds on the vine. It is getting a bit difficult to manage, as it has already reached the top of the trellis. I have one baby seedling that I am going to try to make a very tall trellis for--maybe 12 or 15 feet. I would not be surprised if these vines could grow 20 or 30 feet.

Joseph and Lily_love: when I saw the vine on Liz's ebay auction, I knew I was going to "bid to win", LOL! I don't remember what the final bid was, but it was quite reasonable. Joseph, if I get any seed pods, I'm sure there will be plenty of seeds to go around. I am going to try to make some cuttings in about 4 to 6 weeks. So we'll see!

Mark

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I'm going to dream about this vine tonite!

St. Paul, MN(Zone 4b)

Mark,

What a great thread for us vine afficiandos.

A couple respectful suggestions for staking/trellising your cool A. riducla:

In my limited experience, most tropical Aristolochias are sturdy vines that grow like weeds when given full sun and ample water. Rather than trying to build ever larger trellis' (trellises?) to accommodate them, consider a moderate-sized trellis - a standard large tomato cage works great for me - and simply wind the shoots around and in and out the cage as they grow, or trim them off if they are gangly. From my observations, moderate pruning seems to invigorate Aristolochias if they are in growing mode.

One big advantage to this approach is that it's really easy to move the plants, either to turn them, place them somewhere else, or bring them into the shower for a good spray.

The picture below is, left to right, A. ringens, A. trilobata and A. elegans about a month ago, on my porch, just before I trimmed them back and moved them out into the garden. I just noticed today that the A. trilobata has several dozen flower buds already....I am THRILLED!

Please keep posting pictures.

Regards,

Erick

This message was edited May 14, 2007 10:58 PM

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Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

Thank you Mark, it would be so fantastic to see that flower up close and personal! Have fun growing it this summer!

Joseph

Dover, NJ

Hi Erick,

Thanks for the suggestions. I have thought about trying to make a spiral trellis out of wire. Right now I have 2 shoots on the vine that I just draped back over the top of the trellis once they reached the top. This seems to be working reasonably well. But there are a couple of things about this vine that might cause problems. First is the size of the leaves--they are about 6 inches across once they are grown out, so the vine does seem to need a bit of space. Second, a new shoot forms just above every leaf. Until now, most of these have been dying off--probably from the low 60s night temps that we've been having on occasion. But if they all survive once the weather warms up, then the vine could get out of hand pretty quickly. Of course, if that happens I'll just be using the extra shoots for cuttings. I think the ideal natural "trellis" for this vine would be a small dead tree. But I mainly want to make a tall trellis just for the fun of it. Hopefully I will be able to get plenty of cuttings to try out different methods.

Here's a pic of the next bud--should open in a couple of weeks.

Mark

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Dover, NJ

The next 2 buds are actually growing upside down (from their parent shoot headed downward as I looped it over the top of the trellis). I guess we'll see if they can twist themselves upright before blooming.

Mark

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Gulfport, FL(Zone 9b)

I'm convinced the flowers are actually mini Martian landing craft.
Mark, have you wondered what might have erupted OUT of that little, hairy cave while you were sleeping?
Think about it...
Real War Of The Worlds type stuff...

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

Now that you mentioned it, gordo, the flower brought to my odd mind the Kraken in the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie. LOL Shoot the rum!

Dover, NJ

You know Liz those protuberances on the petal tips do kinda remind me of the alien craft searcher pod things in War of the Worlds--the one with Tom Cruise. LOL!

Mark

St. Paul, MN(Zone 4b)

Hello Mark.

Very cool. It will be fun to see how your vine progresses in the coming months. Hopefully you will enjoy a summer of many, many blooms.

Erick

Dover, NJ

When I went out Friday morning to check the second bud, I thought it looked pretty big. I got up this morning and it had opened. The petals are more curved under than the first one. I couldn't detect any smell on it either, but as always I was pretty congested.

I've been able to track down some botany journal articles on various Aristolochia, and one of them stated that ridicula in self-incompatible. Bummer, cause the one I'm growing from seed is only a week old, and it may be a few months before it flowers. The articles state that it is possible to hand pollinate most Aristolochia--usually by cutting a small hole or window at the base of the flower. The anthers and stigma in Aristolochia are fused into a structure called the gynostemium, which is located at the base of the flower where it connects to the stem. Day 1 flowers have receptive stigma(e), but no pollen. The pollen is not released until day 2. When the pollen is released, the stigma are no longer receptive. So day 1 flowers are "female", and day 2 flowers are "male". When the next flower opens, I am going to cut a window into the base and take some pics of the gynostemium.

Here's a pic of "flower" #2:

Mark

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Dover, NJ

Here's a pic from the side.

One thing that was mentioned in one of the articles was that some Aristolochia have "light windows" near the base of the flower. These windows attract the flies, who think they can escape. When they crawl around near the light windows, they pick up pollen from the anthers. If you look at the base of this flower right where the stem goes in, you can see the light windows. They will become less opaque on day 2.

Mark

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Gulfport, FL(Zone 9b)

Good morning Mark!

Your running commentary and observations in regard to this plant are a pleasure to read. Let's keep this up until you get seed pods. I'd love to follow your exploits.
There is much to be learned here...

Thank you for such delicious posts.

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

Were there special requirements to germinate the seeds?

Joseph

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Good Morning to All;
Me too, found myself following the progress of this vine with fascination. Thank you, Mark, for sharing such wonderful details.
Kim

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