Common name: Calico Flower
Aristolochia elegans Mast. APNI*
Synonyms: Aristolochia littoralis Parodi APNI*
Description: Vigorous climber, glabrous.
Leaves broad-cordate to kidney-shaped, mostly wider than long, 3–8 cm long, 3–10 cm wide; lower surface pale, glaucous; petiole 1.5–5 cm long; pseudo-stipules cordate-reniform, deciduous, 7–27 mm long, 9–30 mm wide. Leaves emit an unpleasant odour when crushed.
Flowers solitary, axillary. Calyx sigmoid, green-yellow to white, veined and marbled purple to maroon, with a dark throat, glabrous outside; utricle obovoid, 2.5–3.3 cm long; tube 10–20 mm long, expanding abruptly into a spreading limb; limb 1-lobed, disk-shaped, broadly cordate-ovate, 7.5–8 cm long, 8–8.4 cm wide.
Capsule ribbed, 5–8 cm long with an apical projection. Seed cordate-triangular, flat, 4–6 mm long, 4–5.5 mm wide, c. 0.2 mm thick, tuberculate, laterally winged; wing 0.25–1 mm wide.
Flowering: Flowers mainly summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Commonly cultivated in warmer climates, recorded as naturalised near Casino. Native of S Amer.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC
The vine is poisonous to the larvae of Birdwing butterflies.
Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 Suppl. (1999)
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