Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pretty (?) picture: Aristolochia gigantea

I had planned to do an orchid post today, but it got really complicated, and took off on several tangents: the meaning of the word "natural," hybridization, my best guess as to the identity of the dye Silver Vase is injecting into their orchids to turn them into "Blue Mystiques," whether or not Megan Fox is hot, and what the world's real oldest profession is (hint: not prostitution). And by the time I'd digressed in all those different directions, I'd kind of forgotten what my original point was, or whether I had a point at all. And it didn't really go with the intended orchid pictures (Schomburgkia undulata x Sophrolaeliocattleya Rojo).

So the previously-scheduled orchid post is delayed until . . . let's say Thursday. Or whenever I figure out what my point is.

Meanwhile, the husband and I went in to Iowa City yesterday. I stopped at the ex-job and saw this:

I've blogged about this plant before, but the flower in the previous Aristolochia post hadn't opened fully yet. This is better.

I'm particularly interested in the irregular, fractal-like coloration here. I'd love to know how the plant does that.


Andrea said...

Wow, that is really a big pipe, no wonder it is named gigantea! We have Aristolochia but not as big, it is not named as the opposite of giant though!

Anna dlC from Toronto said...

Uhhhh.... not sure about "pretty"... At first glance I thought it was the maw of some weird animal... Tsk, but that's just me. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. :-)

Steve said...

Enjoyed this post but definitely looking forward to your Orchid Post.


Paul said...

Love this flower. A conservatory I've visited had one climbing over an archway with over a dozen flowers. Awesome sight. If I remember correctly, it does have a light fragrance when you're up close.

Anonymous said...

"I'm particularly interested in the irregular, fractal-like coloration here. I'd love to know how the plant does that."

The red color follows the venation. So if you know how the plant develops the ramifying pattern by which smaller veinlets grow off the larger veinlets, and still smaller veinlets off those, etc., you'll know the secret. "Morphogenesis" isn't an explanation, but the field in which those explanations are elucidated.

But you knew that.

It still is marvelous.


Pat said...

Tie-dye, obviously.

Bom said...

LOL at the tie-dye comment. Exactly how big is it now that it is fully open? If it were the same height, the diameter would still be about 5 inches? Or has it also grown in the interim?

mr_subjunctive said...


It may have a fragrance, but I didn't notice one when I was taking the picture.


It's not the same flower as the previous post (it's not even the same specimen). I'd estimate this one is about 6 inches (15 cm) top to bottom and about the same, maybe slightly less, from left to right.