Gaping Dutchman's Pipe
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Gaping Dutchman's Pipe
ntroduced Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Gaping Dutchman's Pipe, pipe vine • Marathi: बदक वेल badak vel
Botanical name: Aristolochia ringens    Family: Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort family)

Gaping Dutchman's Pipe is a tall, hairless slender twiner, native to Brazil, but now cultivated throughout the tropical world. Leaves are stalked, round, almost kidney-shaped, pale green above, glaucous beneath. On the leaf blade, 5-7 nerves radiate from the base. Stipules are noticeably leaflike, 2-lobed, kidney-shaped. Flower stalk is slender, four times as long as the leaf stalk. Flowers, 7-10 inches long, are greenish, marked with dark purple. Flower has an obovoid sack, 2.5 inches long, woolly inside. The flower tube ascends obliquely from the sack, dividing into two very long lips. The two lips give an impression of a gaping mouth. The species name ringens means snarling in Latin.
Medicinal uses: The roots of this plant are well known as an antidote for snake bites in New Granada.

Identification credit: Nandan Kalbag Photographed near Karnala, Maharashtra.

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