15 responses to “Aristolochia ridicula”

  1. Brynn H Allen

    I am still reeling from yesterdays post of underground trees.

  2. Everett Skinner

    Some of the African Ceropegias are ‘ridicula’, also, such as Ceropegia aristolochioides or Ceropegia rendallii. Some years ago I was contemplating some Ceropegia flowers in the journal Asklepios and I was thinking how much I would like to experience what the pollinating gnat did. It would be like entering a luxurious restaurant smelling of delicious food with the buzzing sound of the other patrons in the inner room. Then it occurred to me, that if there I were god, that would be exactly why I would create an evolutionary universe, to experience what all the living things in the universe did simultaneously, something like one of those television news rooms with all of the tv screens in the background. It might be more interesting if they didn’t know or care if I existed. If there are any valid scientific clues to the existence of a ‘god’ they would probably be found in the sub consciouse content of language in the form of literature. Multiple meanings of words and set theory come to mind. We really need a new religious ethos to save the biodiversity of the natural world.

  3. Stephen McDaniel

    Is this plant carnivorous? It seems that it would be difficult for a pollinator to escape.

  4. Sara Mauritz

    Two great days of oddball plants. Please keep them coming.

  5. Wendy

    I completely agree with Sara!

  6. Helen Pressley

    Its Latin name sounds like a spell cast by the students at Hogwarts!

  7. Paul O'Byrne

    What does ridicula mean?

    1. Denis

      Cognate to the Latin word rediculum, from whence we get the English “ridicule” and “ridiculous”

      Perhaps “scurra” would have been a better specific epithet, as this has the appearance of a jester hat, complete with the little bells hanging off.

    2. Pat Collins

      The Latin word “ridiculus”, of which this is the feminine form “ridicula”, meant absurd or amusing or laughable in both good and bad senses. One of the meanings is also “jester, buffoon”, so possibly the resemblance to a jester’s hat was being referenced. Though in NE Brown’s first description he writes that the flowers are “positively droll, the two lobes on the side of the mouth of the flower forcibly reminding one of donkey’s ears”.

      It is unlikely to be used in the sense of “a little stake, a peg, plug”.

      I would imagine this is like the African stapeliads (carrion flowers) with a similar colouring and particular stenches that are pollinated by flies attracted to rotting animal matter. This paper notes nine different families of flies (dipterans) have been observed visiting the flowers of Aristolochia ridicula but they weren’t checked for pollen.

  8. Denis

    That’s strange even for a Aristolochia.

  9. Tina Dreyer

    Last two posts fantastic! Always look forward to seeing the amazing world of plants.


    Birthword as in can prevent pregnancy?

  11. Sheryl Marquez

    Several species of Aristolochia in the US are larval food for Pipevine Swallowtail. Surely there is a Brazillian parallel?

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