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Birthwort

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The Birthwort (Aristolochia clematitis) can always be easily recognized by its peculiar flowers. In the middle ages it was imported from the Mediterranean to central europe as medicinal plant and now grows wild at some places. In particular in regions with viticulture it can be found at humid forest's borders or bushes.

The flowers are so called "pitfall traps" or "slippery-slide flytraps". They consist of a tube of about 3cm, through which the insects fall down into a kettle with the stamina and the styles. Pollinators are probably small flies. The premature escape of those insects is hindered by hairs in the tube pointing down (weir basket hairs). Only when the anthers have opened, the weir basket hairs wilt and the insect can creep away.

The Birthwort has a subterranean rhizome, of which every year an erect pflant of in average perhaps 50cm sprouts.


Homepage(2)     Plants(index) by Michael Becker, 7/2002. Last modification: 7/2002.