The Vine that is Eating the Chair

The flowers dangle in the breeze, always watching….

A curiosity plant in my garden is Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia trilobata), also unpoetically called birthwort.  The flowers aren’t actually pretty.  The politest description of them is that they resemble a large pipe.  The flowers dangle in the breeze from the vine, which is evergreen with glossy leaves.  It doesn’t produce a fruit. 

Kind of like a pipe; kind of like a nose.

 Dutchman’s Pipe is an ornamental, fast-growing vine that can grow 20 -30 feet in all directions.  Including up.  Up and up.  Onto the second floor balcony.  And around everything in its path. 

Climbing two stories and beyond.

In other words, the vine is eating my balcony and my patio furniture.

I’m glad I wasn’t asleep in it!

Dutchman’s Pipe emits weak unpleasant odor when disturbed; otherwise the flowers don’t have a scent.  It grows so quickly that the idea of pruning it down is daunting but must be done (… what is that tapping sound I hear on the sliding glass door right now?).  It twists and winds around and up the posts to the roof (… hmm… are the cats in the attic again?  I’ve never heard them make thatnoise).  Soon it will probably be over the roof, and I’ll have an unmanagable amount of vines to clip and haul to the compost heap (… excuse me, someone is at the door.  “Hello?  Who’s  there?  Hello?”).  I’ve been putting the job off, but today seems like a good day to….. (“What the heck is…. nooo!!…

NOMNOM

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