Aristolochia gigantea (Aristolochiaceae)
Aristolochia gigantea grows in tropical regions from Panama to Brazil.. It is a robust, twisting climber that can grow around a sturdy arbor or a tree up to 30 feet tall or higher. This vine has fleshy heart-shaped leaves and large flowers exceeding a foot long and at least 6 inches wide. The flower is astounding, impressive, strange and sinister at the same time: it resembles a giant beefsteak.
The mouth of the pipe-shaped flower expands to a huge size and is colored with a maroon and white netting effect. In the “mouth” there is a central yellow spot where an opening leads into a closed pouch. The back view of the flower superficially resembles a pair of lungs with a canal leading into a stomach-like pouch. The blossom is over 14 inches (36 cm) long. These huge, lemony scented flowers bloom from summer until late winter.