Like Big Hankies

Behind the Spanish Moss in the bottom photo of yesterday’s post was a climbing plant growing as a tangle of sturdy stems around a white pillar. I was pretty interested in them and took a couple of photos, then found a label nearby and realised it’s the stems of a plant that has amazing flowers like pouches and/or big floppy handkerchiefs. I’ve seen the flowers previously but hadn’t noticed the form of the stems. It’s a tropical plant and its native habitat is Panama to Brazil.

Aristolochia gigantea / Giant Dutchman’s Pipe / Pelican Flower

Photos taken 25 June in the Winter House, Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand



The gigantea part of the botanical name describes the flowers. We don’t appear to have photos of the flowers on file despite having admired them but here’s one description I’ve read “Large flowers (15 cm wide, 30 cm tall)” … so you’ll know what I mean when I say they’re pretty amazing to look at!

The quote came from a Singaporean website with great photos of the flowers and foliage (well worth having a look at).

Here’s a photo from Wikimedia Commons that I’ve chosen so you can see the different forms of the flowers – Aristolochia gigantea vine (Brazil).
Click on photo to enlarge
Photo by Dianakc  |  cc by-sa 3.0


I can even give you a link to a photo of a Curator with his hand held up to one of the flowers in the Winter House at Dunedin Botanic Garden itself! The photo heads this Otago Daily Times article. Great photo for showing the actual size!

Text and first two photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2020)

7 thoughts on “Like Big Hankies

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  1. Someone, relatively recently, posted ‘regular’ Dutchman’s pipes, and it was that pattern that intrigued me. It reminded me of calico fabric. These are so big they could be calico sunbonnets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a strange and intriguing flower! They look like someone has pegged out lots of pretty bits of fabric. Nature is amazing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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