Aristolochia dielsiana

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Aristolochia dielsiana

Description

Liana, up to 15-40 m high, c. 2 cm ø. Leaves often coriaceous, broad-ovate, ovate, lanceolate, rarely narrow-lanceolate, 19-37 by 4.5-23.5 cm (sometimes up to 100 by 70 cm); Inflorescences cauligerous, 1 or 2 borne on a brachyblast of the (old) stem, rachides up to 11 (-29) cm long, with spaced internodes; Stamens 6; Capsules green or light yellowish green, oblong, up to 20 (-30) by c. 4 cm, indehiscent (?), 6-ridged, smooth, sparsely shortly hairy, glabrescent. Seeds triangular or deltoid, 9 by 8.5-9 mm, slightly longitudinally concave above, convex beneath, smooth on both surfaces, not winged.

Distribution

Asia-Tropical, Central & Northern Distr present, Idenburg R present, Papua New Guinea present, Sepik present, West New Guinea present
Malesia: West New Guinea (Idenburg R.); Papua New Guinea (Sepik, Central & Northern Distr.).

Notes

In flower bud the present species resembles A. schlechteri, but the latter has in anthesis 6 perianth lobes.
It is the host of one of the largest butterfly species of Rhopalocera, Ornithoptera alexandra, in New Guinea. Mr. R. STRAATMAN reported upon it, under the erroneous name A. schlechteri' () that 'the flower is shaped like a starfish with three long arms and is dark purple-brown with a yellow heart. The green fruit is shaped like a cucumber, 20-30 cm long, strongly ribbed lengthwise and has a rough skin. It matures slowly and when fully rotten the seeds fall to the ground and are carried away by rainwater over generally short distances, resulting in a number of plants growing in a restricted area.'
Flower colour is not always reported the same: HOOGLAND & CRAVEN noted the perianth to be pale green outside, the lobes orange-yellow and purple inside, BRASS said flowers greenish white, tinged and veined with purple.

Citation

SCHMIDT 1935 – In: E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam., ed. 2, 16b. p 241
DING HOU 1983: p. 235. – In: Blumea. f. 6a.