Aristolochia pentandra

Aristolochia pentandra Jacq.

Common Names: Pitcher Plant

Family: Aristolochiaceae

Habit: Aristolochia pentandra grows as a vine to 3 m. in length climbing on surrounding vegetation or along the ground.  The leaves are arranged alternately, cordate in shape, to 4 cm. in length, an entire margin and acute leaf apex.

The incomplete, perfect, strongly zygomorphic flowers are solitary in leaf axils. The sepals in the calyx are fused, forming an inflated base narrowing to a curved red tube and then opening. The outer edge does not have projecting appendages.  There are 5 unfused stamens in the calyx inflated base.  The superior ovary has 5 locules and numerous ovules.  The fruit a brown capsule that opens at the point of attachment to the peduncle forming a hanging basket shape.

Habitat: Aristolochia pentandra grows in Dunes, and coastal Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Shrublands (scrublands).

Distribution: Aristolochia pentandra occurs in the central and northern island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago, the Great Antilles, and Florida.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Aristolochia pentandra is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.