Aristolochia paucinervis

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Piperales - Family: Aristolochiaceae

Aristolochia paucinervis

Above: The narrow and elongated flowers of Aristolochia pauncinervis

Aristolochia paucinervis can be found in damp ditches in the western Mediterranean and is not as widespread and common as Aristolochia baetica. It flowers from February through to the end of July.

The plants of the Aristolochiaceae family attract their pollinators (flies) by exuding a strong smell from their flowers which are typically saxaphone-shaped. When the flies crawl down into the flowers, they are trapped by the hairs that surround the 'mouth' and remain, crawling around, inside the flower overnight. By the following morning the hairs have withered and the flies, now covered with pollen, are able to escape and move on to other flowers and so complete the pollination cycle.

The plants shown on this page were photographed close to Monchique in the Algarve region of Portugal in late March.


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