Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Aristolochia chalmersii O.C.Schmidt

Slender Vine
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Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Schmidt, O.C. (1932) Repertorium Novarum Specierum Regni Vegetabilis 30: 73. Type: Queensland: Thursday and Jervis Isl. (Torres Strait), 1878 Rev. J. Chalmers, Syn: MEL; Lizard Is. Collector?, S?.

Common name

Dutchmans Pipe


A slender vine, stem diameter not exceeding 3 cm.


Leaf blades about 3.5-11 x 5-15 cm, petioles about 3-8 cm long. Leaf blades very soft in texture, thin and rather flimsy. Petioles thickened and twisted near the base forming a type of tendril.


Inflorescence up to 10 cm long, each flower subtended by a cordate bract about 10-15 x 10-15 mm. Flowers pendulous. Perianth somewhat curved, +/- sinuous, tube inflated at the base but constricted just above the inflated base to form a tube about 2 mm diam. Apex of the perianth tube flared like a trumpet with a lip-like protrusion about 25 x 5 mm with recurved margins. Stamens 6, fused together to form a structure about 3 x 4 mm around the style. Anthers sessile. Stigmas 6. Ovules numerous in each locule.


Fruits before dehiscence about 15-20 x 8-16 mm on a slender stalks about 14-15 mm long. Outer surface with 12 longitudinal ribs. Fruits split from the base upwards into 5 or 6 segments and after dehiscence resemble a parachute. Seeds numerous, stacked like biscuits in cylindrical packets. Individual seeds cordate in outline, about 5 x 3-5 mm. Testa tuberculate and +/- keeled on one side. Embryo tiny, straight, about 0.5-1 mm long, located at the pointed end of the seed.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Usually grows in monsoon forest or vine thicket, sometimes on the margin of gallery forest or rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

This species has been recorded as a host for the larvae of the Big Greasy (Cressida cressida cressida), and possibly also the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly (Troides euphorion). Ross & Halford (2007).

Aristolochia sp. (Mt White), Climbing Plants of Australia : 154(1988).
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