Aristolochia microstoma   Boiss. & Spruner

trivial name

 

size

habit

inflorescence

exposure

temperature range

humidity

water requirements

 

soil pH

propagation

difficulty

- (micro - stoma = 'small aperture' - referring to the curious 'hole' leading         into the flower)

approx. 10-30 cm

perennial, tuberous, suberect herb

muddy white with a purple or reddish upper part

full sun

20-40 °C in summer, hardy to -8 °C with isolation

> 40 %

only to be watered during the short growth period, completely dry in summer & winter

alkaline

seeds (stratification period up to 2 years), root cuttings (?)

4 (1 = very easy, 5 = extremely difficult)


Yes, this is an Aristolochia!

One of the strangest-looking species in Europe, this tiny oddity produces absolutely curious flowers resembling the pitcher traps of the carnivorous plant Sarracenia psittacina.

However, the size is somehow different as the clustering flowers do not grow larger than 2-3 cm. 

 

Like its American carnivorous cousin, Aristolochia microstoma aims to lure ground-dwelling insects like ants (however, with a less lethal effect as the insects are released after pollination).

Therefore the flowers usually appear slightly below (!) soil level - making it the only Aristolochia worldwide to do so!