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Aristolochia gigantea

Family Name: Aristolochiaceae
Synonyms: Aristolochia clypeata
Common Name: Giant Dutchman's Pipe, Pelican Flower
Full Sun Moderate Water Ornamental Flowers Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 4.6 m to 6 m


Native Distribution Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous evergreen vine with a climbing or spreading growth habit.
Foliage Light green leaves are heart-shaped with entire leaf margin. Leaves are arranged alternately along the stems, measuring about 15 cm long and 11 cm wide, with whitish hair on the undersides.
Flowers Large flowers (15 cm wide, 30 cm tall) have an unusual, pouchlike shape. The flowers are reddish purple with white, net-like streaks and a yellow throat. Unlike A. grandiflora which also produces large flowers, it does not produce an unpleasant smell. 
Fruits Fruits are oblong or cylindrical capsules, measuring to about 13 cm long and 3 cm wide. and will turn from green to brown when mature, splitting open at the top into 7 sections in a 'Chinese Lantern' pattern to release many seeds. The mature fruit capsule is papery.
Habitat Found in tropical forests and stream banks at an altitude of 700 - 1100 m, mostly cultivated.
Cultivation This fast-growing species should be planted in fertile soil that is mildly acidic to mildly alkaline (pH = 6 - 8). Allow 1.8 - 2.4 m of spacing between individuals. It grows well in a sunny spot that is protected from full sun. Propagate by seed.
Etymology The specific epithet "gigantea" refers to the large flowers.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Potential Problems No serious pests or disease problems.
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Cordate)
Foliar Venation Palmate
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cordate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Brown
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Papery
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule
Mature Seed Colour(s) Brown
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

Image Repository



Master ID 19
Species ID 1315
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 06 July 2022.