Blooming Vines!

This first photo is a hoya vine which was planted five years ago on a coconut tree next to the Kadavul Temple pool. Today it finally bloomed and greeted the tropical sun.

The following photos are of a blooming Giant Dutchman's Pipe or Pelican Flower:
Aristolochia gigantea is a robust, twisting climber that can grow around a sturdy arbor or a tree up to 30 feet tall or higher. Giant Dutchman's Pipe has developed an ingenious way to make the flies do all the pollination work. First, the fly, which is already coated with pollen from another flower it has recently visited, is attracted to the sight and smell of the open flower. As it follows the scent down to the main chamber of the flower, it is prevented from exiting by the stiff hairs from inside the pipe, which traps the insect inside. Since the hairs point downward, the fly must move in that direction. Deep inside the flower, the pollen-covered fly brushes up its head against the flower's receptive stigma, depositing pollen from the previous flower. The next day the flower stops producing the scent that attracted the flies and releases pollen on the captives. Only then does the flower relax the stiff hairs and release the flies to carry the pollen to another flower. The flower is about the size of an open hand.


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