Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Aristolochia gigantea

Mart. & Zucc., Nov. Gen. Sp. P1.1:75, t. 48.1824

A. sylvicola  Standl.


Twining liana, glabrous but the leaf blade below arach­noid-pubescent. Leaves alternate; petioles slender, ca 4-6 cm long; blades ovate, acuminate, truncate to shal­lowly cordate at base, 10-15 (20) cm long, 7-11(12) cm wide, grayish below with arachnoid trichomes. Flowers in short racemes of few flowers, white, densely speckled with pink and maroon; calyx expanded into a ± campan­ulate balloon to 8 cm long, constricted into a short, re­flexed tube opening into a large limb to 20 cm long; corolla lacking; stamens 6, the anthers sessile and adnate to style; styles 6, ± connate; stamens capitate. Capsules cylindrical, to 13 cm long and ca 3 cm wide, dehiscing from base, bearing many seeds; seeds 7-8 mm long, flattened, elliptic, the margins bordering a prominent medial rib, very revolute, the dehisced valves ca 1.5 cm wide. Croat 11260, Shattuck 640.

Rare, in the forest. Some flowers have been seen in September and December. Maturity time of the fruits is uncertain, probably in the dry season.

Known only from Panama, in tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and Bocas del Toro and from tropical wet forest in Darien.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Aristolochia gigantea