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Pararistolochia praevenosa (ARISTOLOCHIACEAE) Richmond Birdwing Vine

Image: foliage

Pararistolochia praevenosa - Richmond Birdwing Vine
Photo: Robert Whyte

Large 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.

Image: flower


Pararistolochia praevenosa flower
Photo: Don Sands

Flower of Pararistolochia praevenosa - about 2cm in length.

Image: flower


Pararistolochia praevenosa flower
Photo: Don Sands

Looking down throat of flower of Pararistolochia praevenosa.

Image: fruit


Pararistolochia praevenosa fruit
Photo: Robert Whyte

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

Image: Richmond Birdwing butterfly


Richmond Birdwing butterfly
Photo: Don Sands

Host plant for the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly. 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.

To find out more about this butterfly, follow the links below.

Image: Larva of Richmond Birdwing butterfly


larva of Richmond Birdwing butterfly
Photo: Don Sands

Larva of Richmond Birdwing butterfly feeding on Pararistolochia praevenosa.

Image: Male Richmond Birdwing butterfly from above


Male Richmond Birdwing butterfly
Photo: Robert Whyte

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

Image: Male Richmond Birdwing butterfly from below


Female Richmond Birdwing butterfly
Photo: Robert Whyte

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

Image: Female Richmond Birdwing butterfly from above


Female Richmond Birdwing butterfly
Photo: Robert Whyte

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

Image: Female Richmond Birdwing butterfly from below


Underside of female Richmond Birdwing butterfly
Photo: Robert Whyte

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