Pararistolochia praevenosa (ARISTOLOCHIACEAE) Richmond Birdwing Vine

Plants to Plant

Large and vigorous woody climber with a dense covering of brown hairs on petioles, young shoots and inflorescences. Leaves alternate, ovate to elliptic, to 25 cm long, base cordate or rounded, upper surface dark green and dull, lower surface with scattered hairs on veins. Petiole to 30 mm long, thickened and twisted. Flowers around 20 mm long, moderately hairy, purplish. Fruit is a capsule, oblong to ovoid, to 4 cm long, ribbed.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Flower 1

Flower of Pararistolochia praevenosa – about 2 cm in length.

Photo: Don Sands

Flower 2

Looking down throat of flower of Pararistolochia praevenosa.

Photo:Don Sands

Ripe Fruit

Fruit of Pararistolochia praevenosa – about 3-4cm in length.

Photo:Robert Whyte

Host Plant

Host plant for the Richmond Birdwing butterfly Ornithoptera richmondia. The range of this butterfly is now very fragmented (essentially extinct in large parts its range) due to the loss of this food plant through the clearing of bushland. Richmond Birdwing butterflies mistake the ornamental Dutchman’s Pipe vine for a native Pararistolochia vine and lay their eggs on it. Toxins in this introduced plant kill young caterpillars. It is very important to remove all signs of Dutchman’s Pipe to protect any remaining butterflies. The Richmond Birdwing Recovery Network is attempting to encourage this butterfly to repopulate throughout its range, through a planting program in partnership with bushcare groups.

Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Photo: Don Sands

Larva of Richmond Birdwing Butterfly

Larva of Richmond Birdwing butterfly feeding on Pararistolochia praevenosa.

Photo: Don Sands

Male Richmond Birdwing Butterfly From Above

Male Richmond Birdwing butterfly. Thanks to Don Sands for allowing us to photograph these butterflies in his collection.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Male Richmond Birdwing Butterfly From Below

Underside of male Richmond Birdwing butterfly. Thanks to Don Sands for allowing us to photograph these butterflies in his collection.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Female Richmond Birdwing Butterfly From Above

Female Richmond Birdwing butterfly. Thanks to Don Sands for allowing us to photograph these butterflies in his collection.

PhotoRobert Whyte

Female Richmond Birdwing Butterfly From Below

Underside of female Richmond Birdwing butterfly. Thanks to Don Sands for allowing us to photograph these butterflies in his collection.

PhotoRobert Whyte