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051•366 • 2016 • Dutchman's Pipevine

February 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Found lots of these native wildflowers near the entrance of South Rim Trail in Upper Bidwell Park.

"Aristolochia californica is a deciduous vine with purple-striped curving pipe-shaped flowers which give rise to winged capsular green fruits. After it blooms, the plant sends out new green heart-shaped leaves. The vines grow from rhizomes to a length of over twenty feet and can become quite thick in circumference at maturity. This plant is common in moist woods and in riparian zones along streams in Northern and Central California.

Pollination
The California pipevine's flowers have an unpleasant odor which is attractive to tiny carrion-feeding insects. The insects crawl into the convoluted flowers and often become stuck and disoriented for some time, picking up pollenas they wander. Most eventually escape; the plant is not insectivorous as was once thought. Fungus gnats (Mycetophilidae) may prove to be the effective pollinators. G.L. Stebbins suggested that pollination by deceit is presumed.

California pipevine swallowtail butterfly
The larva of the California pipevine swallowtail (Battus philenor hirsuta) relies on California pipevine as its only food source. The red-spotted black caterpillars consume the leaves of the plants and then use the flowers as a secure, enclosed place to undergo metamorphosis. The plant contains a toxin which when ingested by the caterpillars makes them unpalatable to predators."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_californica

@EyeFiCard #MobiPro used for proofing on a larger screen and EyeFi Cloud backup of Camera RAW image files.


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