Biodiversity in Belize
Biological Diversity in Belize
Site Search
 

What's New!

NEW RELEASE!
Checklist of the vascular plants of Belize

Co = Corozal District
OW = Orange Walk District
Be = Belize District
Cy = Cayo District
SC = Stann Creek District
To =Toledo District

Mapserver

Aristolochia's native to Belize

Aristolochia page provided by: Jan Meerman

Aristolochia species are characterized by the outlandish shape of the flower. Although highly variable, they all follow the same design as indicated in the diagram to the right.In Belize a total of 10 species has been recorded. Locally these are known as either "Contribo" or "Guaco". A. grandiflora is also known as "flor de pato" (duck-flower). Many species are highly regarded for their medicinal uses. All species contain Aristolochic acid and their oral administration is not without danger. Biologically, Aristolochia's are important as larval foodplants for swallowtail butterflies of the genera Battus and Parides.

Aristolochia diagram

Picture gallery of Aristolochia species found in Belize:

Click image for a larger picture

Aristolochia grandiflora

Aristolochia grandiflora Sw.

Long but slender vine. Short lived. Largest flower in Belize. Very strong and unpleasant odor.Leaves simple, heart-shaped. Deeply cordate. Large, thin.Distribution in Belize: Cayo, Belize, Stann Creek and Toledo districts. Mostly found along rivers.Larval foodplant for the butterflies Battus chalceus and Parides erithalion.

Aristolochia maxima Jacq.

Large vine. Older plants have a tendency to flower in mass at the base of the plant. Such "terrestrial" flowers never set fruit. Simple oblong leaf. Base truncate, sometimes faintly cordate. Countrywide distribution, but appears to prefer limestone-based soils. Larval foodplant for the butterflies Battus polydamas, B. laodamas, Parides sesostris and P. iphidamas

 

Aristolochia maxima
Aristolochia odoratissima

Aristolochia odoratissima L.

Slender vine, often more sprawling then climbing. Hastate leaf, basal lobes often elongated. Frequently maculated. The seedpods are long and slender. The seeds are small and very sticky. Are they ant-dispersed rather than wind dispersed? Cayo district. Larval foodplant for the butterfly Battus polydamas.

 

Aristolochia ovalifolia Duch.

Large vine. Oval to oblong leaf. Difficult to distinguish from A. maxima, but leaf base finely cordate. Fruit as in A. maxima. Known distribution: Cayo and Stann Creek district. Appears to prefer slightly acidic soils. Larval foodplant for the butterfly Battus polydamas

 

Aristolochia ovalifolia
Aristolochia pentandra

Aristolochia pentandra Jacq.

Slender vine, mostly just sprawling. Leaves hastate. Basal lobes rounded. Known only from some offshore cayes on sandy soils. Confirmed for Belize by J.C. Meerman in 1996 (Half Moon Caye. Lighthouse reef). Most likely a new arrival in Belize. Larval foodplant for the butterfly Battus polydamas

Aristolochia pilosa H.B.K.

Slender vine. Simple leaf, deeply cordate. Densely pilose. Distributed in the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo districts. Larval foodplant for the Battus polydamas and Parides eurimedes

 

Aristolochia pilosa

Aristolochia ringens Vahl

Originally from Brazil and thus not a native species, but sometimes grown as an ornamental and I have seen it "escape" into nearby (disturbed) forest in both the Corozal and Toledo districts.

Aristolochia schippii Standl.

Large vine. Leaves simple, deltoid. Deeply cordate. Large and leathery. The seedpods are long and thin and do not dehisc during dry weather. The seeds are small and very sticky. Are they ant-dispersed rather than wind dispersed? Distributed in the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo districts.

Aristolochia schippii
Aristolochia tonduzii

Aristolochia tonduzii O. C. Schmidt

Large vine. Leaves oblong, quite elongated. Cordate base. Distributed in the Toledo and Stann Creek districts. Larval foodplant for the butterflies Battus polydamas and Parides childrenae

Aristolochia trilobata L.

Slender vine. Leaves trilobed. Very distinct. Distributed in the Orange Walk, Belize and Toledo districts. Usually found in swampy areas. Larval foodplant for the butterflies Parides erithalion and Parides iphidamas

Aristolochia trilobata
Aristolochia veracruzana

Aristolochia veracruzana J. Ortega

Leaves simple, elliptic. Base rounded. Densely pubescent. Not listed in Balick et al. (2000) but erroneously reported as Aristolochia arborea Linden. Known distribution: Corozal and Cayo districts. Larval foodplant for the butterfly Parides photinus

 

About Belize|Administrative|Publications|Species List|Projects|Links|HOME

  

Send mail to meerman@biological-diversity.info with questions or comments about this website.
Copyright 2002 - 2004 biological-diversity.info and Belize Explorer Group Design Concepts
Last modified: June 4, 2004