Thursday, 31 December 2009

Aristolochia labiata

Curtis's botanical magazine, Volume 70

There are few plants which present more striking peculiarities of form and structure in their blossoms than the various individuals of the Genus to which the present plant belongs. Ninety-two species are enumerated by Steudel in the new edition of his valuable " Nomenclator Botanicus." Amongst them is a peculiar group inhabiting Brazil, which Martius characterizes as having flowers of a remarkably large size, variegated with dark purple brown, with the tube of the perianth obovate or ventricose, the limb tubular at the base, then two-lipped; the upper lip more or less elongated, channelled, the lower one, from a very contracted and channelled or cymbiform base, dilated into a very broad lamina. To this division, besides our plant, here represented, will belong the A. galeata, Mart., A. cymbifera, Mart., A. labiosa, Ker, Bot. Reg., and Sims, in Bot. Mag. t. 2545 (excl. syn.), A. Brasiliensis, Mart. (A. ringens, Link and Otto), and A. ringens, Vahl, (not Link and Otto). To the A. cymbifera and A. labiosa, just mentioned, (two species certainly very nearly allied to each other,) our A. galeata bears a great affinity, as well in size as in general structure; but may be at once known by the very narrow (not broad and cymbiform) base of the lower lip. From A. galeata it may be discriminated by the much greater size of its leaves and flowers, by the different colour and marking of the perianth, and especially by the deep sinus of the great lamina of the lower lip. It was raised in the Glasgow Botanic- Garden from seeds, gathered near Crato, Brazil, by Mr. Gardner, in September, 1838. Plants communicated from Glasgow to Mr. Moore at the Glasnevin Botanic Garden, produced their curious blossoms in the stove during the autumn of 1840 and 1841, and from these specimens our figure is taken. Flowering individuals of the same plant were kindly sent by Mr. Llewellyn, of Penllegar, in May of the following year; also raised from Gardner's seeds.

Aristolochia labiata
Willd. Mémoires de la Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou 2: 101-102, t. 6. 1809.

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