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Aristolochia microstoma Boiss. & Spruner


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


perennial herb < 0,4 m, tuberous, irregularly elongated taproot


1-3 cm, no odour




thick-shelled, compressed triangular, large elaiosome,

stratification 1-3 years

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 1-3 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 - only one of three Aristolochia worldwide that do so!


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