Aristolochia salvadorensis, fittingly nicknamed “Darth Vader” flower. Yes, the resemblance is uncanny, even if you’re not a Star Wars fan! 😄😄
Aristolochia salvadorensis is a woody climber native to the humid meadows and soggy flood plains of Brazil, belonging to the Aristolochiaceae family of plants, which includes pipevines, birthworts and Dutchman’s pipe. This unusual, corpse-like appearance of “Darth Vader” pipevine flowers is due to adaptations within a challenging environment to ensure its survival.
The helmet-like shape and purple coloration of the blooms, along with the stench of rotting flesh, tends to attract insect pollinators. Insects attracted by the strong unpleasant smell fly through the plant’s luminous “eyes.” They are momentarily trapped inside the blooms which are lined with sticky hairs, but just long enough for them to be covered in pollen. Afterwards, they are released to fly out and pollinate more blooms and each bloom lasts only a single week.
📷 Gard3nNerd (Reddit)