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Aristolochia watsonii; Indianroot   

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Aristolochia watsonii
Aristolochia watsonii
Photographer: Aaron Schusteff

ID: 0000 0000 1213 2092 (2013-12-23)

Copyright © 2013 Aaron Schusteff

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  • date of photo  Jul 27, 2013
  • location   Pena Blanca Spring, Pajarito Mountains, Coronado National Forest (Santa Cruz County, Arizona, US)
  • family Aristolochiaceae
  • notes   This is a fascinating desert-adapted member of the genus Aristolochia. It's a low-growing vine with narrowly saggitate leaves that are dark purple-brown above, bright-green underneath, and full of phytotoxins that are consumed and sequestered by the pipevine swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor)...this being its host plant in the Sonoran desert portion of its range.

    The strange flowers have a musty odor and resemble a mouse's ear, which attracts the pollinators...blood-sucking midges of the family Ceratonpogonidae...which are fooled into entering the flowers in search of a meal and are then trapped overnight, become covered with pollen, and are released the next morning.

    Learn more about pollination, phytotoxins, and the pipevine butterfly at this summary web page from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Also highly recommend is the wonderful & more detailed article by Crosswhite & Crosswhite(1984) here.

    Detailed botanical information for this species can be found on this SEINet web page.

  • photo category: Plant - annual/perennial

  • common names   Indianroot (photographer)
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  • The photographer's identification Aristolochia watsonii has not been reviewed. Click here to review or comment on the identification.

    Using this photo   The thumbnail photo (128x192 pixels) on this page may be freely used for personal or academic purposes without prior permission under the Fair Use provisions of US copyright law as long as the photo is clearly credited with © 2013 Aaron Schusteff. For other uses, or if you have questions, contact Aaron Schusteff arbonius2[AT] (Replace the [AT] with the @ symbol before sending an email.)


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