Looking like some sort of black light painting of floral fractal design comes something so awesome, so psychedelically stunning, so surreally stylish that you can't take your eyes off of it! A visual vortex so mind bending you might think that there are clouds in your coffee while Led Zeppelin's Mothership plays on in the background.
Feast your eyes on the future forward fashion of Aristolochia gigantea commonly known as Giant Dutchman's Pipe, Duck Flower, or Pelican Flower. I gotta give props to my friend Sharon Lowe, one of the floral superstars at Clementine Floral Works/Silver Lake, for kidnapping yours truly and taking me to a secret location in Atwater Village, nearby, to see the spectacle that is presented before you. I have never seen such a glorious display of Aristolochia awesomeness before. So psychedelically delicious...it's ridiculous!
Aritsolochia gigantea comes to us from Brazil and parts of Central America. It's an evergreen, fast-growing vine that twines and twirls with a luxuriously exotic energy. Vines can grow 15 to 20 feet long. From summer to early winter they produce strikingly spectacular flowers with billowy, flaring calyces festooned with fractal patterns in a combination of deep wine and cream color. At the center of it all is a mysterious looking vortex the color of a distant sun. Flowers are usually 6 inches wide and up to 1 foot long!
Aristolochia gigantea outfits itself in beautifully lush, heart-shaped foliage that is around 4 to 6 inches wide. Flower buds form resembling a cross between an old time pipe and an upturned duck's head. As the buds mature they begin to take on a form similar to a pelican's mouth. Now, I know it all sounds so strange but, live and in concert the look is so ultra-vivid-cool it will hypnotize you into a state of joyful, beautiful bliss.
Aritolochia gigantea likes sun or partial shade, regular water, well-draining, fertile soil, and is hardy down to around 32 degrees fahrenheit/0 degrees celsius. Planted with some support on a fence or trellis it can put on quite a show. So if you're in the mood for something that's got some funky-fresh-super-psychedelic style try growing this florally fractal fashionista. Oh, and for something totally different try using some as cut flowers. They'll make your ordinary...extraordinary!