I just have to share this ...

mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)March 22, 2012

Although I had quite a bit of growth on my Dutchman's Pipevine last season, this is the first time I've found what I believe to be flower buds on these vines. Just had to share my discovery with everyone. I do hope I get some seed this year.

Oh yes, also saw my second big healthy Black Swallowtail feeding on the Purple Homestead Verbena today! ... Mary

Aristolochia tomentosa - Dutchman's Pipevine Flower buds

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Wow, Mary, is that this year's growth already? Mine has just begun to leaf out. Wow, so cool! Thanks for sharing.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 7:47PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Yes, Susan, it is this year's growth. Hasn't this weather been crazy lately. I couldn't believe my eyes when I glanced up to see how much growth it had put on and noticed these little buds all over it. My first time watching these vines bloom so no idea how long it will be before the buds open. Hope they wait until there are pollinators flying around.

Is spring in full swing out your way?


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 11:20AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Hi, Mary! Great photo of the tomentosa buds. It will take a bit for the blooms to open. I hope you get a pollinator.

I saw your post on Journey North that you have milkweed up. Mine is peeking through, also. Even one of the variegata's that the gopher didn't get! Isn't spring marvelous with all the new life just popping?

Saw my first Monarch flying through last week. Didn't stop, so I'm hopeful there will be plenty of milkweed when more show up. Looks like the scouts are out, which makes me wonder if they are able to communicate their findings. So many mysteries.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 11:27AM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Hi Sandy,

Happy Spring to you! And doing the happy dance for your surviving A variegata. One of these days, we're going to get a seed pod off of these beauties! :-)

I have yet to see a Monarch this spring. My A variegata is already up about 12-14 inches and so far, I have 11 stalks on the wild plant. Another 3rd year baby A variegata is showing nice, strong stalks this year. A tuberosa (Butterfly Weed), swamp, showey and common milkweed all showing growth and the overwintered A curassavica is growing strong in pots on the deck. I'm ready for the little gems!

My husband is very ill so I don't think I'll have time to mother the little cats this season but I can at least try and provide host and nectar plants for them.

Please keep us posted on your sightings. I so enjoy reading about everyone's experiences.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:18PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Congrats on your flower buds, Mary!
My vines are covered with them, as usual, but I've never gotten even ONE seed pod from them! I opened up one of them, and there were lots of little gnats in it, so here's hoping that one of them will pollinate one of the flowers!
If you get a seed pod from yours, I want you to post a picture of it from every angle, never having seen one myself! :0

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 7:05PM
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Pipevine flowers emit a carrion-like odor which attracts tiny little flies. They are trapped inside until the flower drops, releasing the flies to pollinate yet another flower. So those little gnats you found are the pollinating flies. Cool, huh?


    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 7:30AM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Hi Sherry,

Nice to read you again :-) and thank you for the congrats.

I think your Mississippi weather has moved to our area of the country. You have such a wonderfully long growing season but for my area, this early spring is simply amazing. I will watch and hope for a pipevine seed pod and if one shows up, I promise to take a photo for you. Also happy to read about your new seedlings this year. It is such fun to watch the development of 'new to us' plants.

Susan, thank you so much for the information regarding the little pollinators for the pipevine. Who would ever have thought tiny flies would be pollinators! I learn so much from this fantastic group.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 9:39AM
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I'm thinking that I mustn't have many of those fly pollinators around here because the first year (2010) that my pipevine (A. macrophylla) bloomed and had tons of flowers I only got one seed pod out of all of those hundreds or thousands of flowers. Last year I didn't get any seed pods at all. I gave all of my seeds away the year before because I have plenty of pipevine already, but it's always nice to have seeds to give away so others can hopefully experience the joy of having Pipevine Swallowtails.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:51PM
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Good close-up Mary. How neat that it's only March and you already have blooms starting. I'm enjoying this early spring. I hope it doesn't get ruined by a freeze.

I have read that people use raw chicken necks or even road kill to attract pollinating flies to pawpaw trees. It might work with pipevine too. It's rather gross though.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 7:47PM
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Sandy, if you read this, my A. clematitis is coming up after all. I am going to dig some up and move it to the front. It must be one TOUGH pipevine because I didn't water the backyard last year at all. Now, can you imagine a plant surviving those absolutely awful temps we had - well over 60 days of +100 temps - PLUS the drought? Whew, it must be one tenacious plant is all I can say.

Mary, I forgot to ask you, is your 3rd year A. variegata from one of the seeds you grew?


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:11AM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)


Yes, the 3rd year A. variegata is from a seed (please see photo below); the seed that ctnchpr generously shared with us in 2009. This is the first year it has shown what I would call, good strong growth. The first two years the top growth was rather spindly but this year, they look like the emerging shoots of the wild A. variegata, thick and strong from the get go. I hope it has developed a good root system and is now ready to put forth some energy in top growth.

I have another baby that was growing strong last year but I've yet to see any signs of life this spring. We didn't have as severe a drought last season as you guys in OKC experienced but it was awfully hot and dry here over a long period of time. Still watching his growing spot for signs of life; I hope I didn't let the little guy die from lack of water. ... Mary

A. variegata - AKA Red Ring Milkweed - 3rd season new spring growth from plant started from seed in 2009.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Ah, what a wonderful sight! You may get blooms from it since it is the 3rd year for it. Crossing fingers for you, Mary! You must be one heck of a gardener!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 6:54PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)


I agree with Susan, you must be one great gardener! I discovered two more very tiny variegata sprouts. The good news is that the Purple MW that the gopher got last year and almost destroyed is coming back! I took the remnants of the plant that he had drug down into the soil and planted them in two pots. The two pots are sprouting. I was so nervous that I might lose this plant that was so beautiful last year. I will put window screening in a deep hole and replant the Purple MW.

I saw Mary Ann at a sale here in Tulsa yesterday. She planted some more variegata this year, but apparently it has yet to sprout. So I'm on the list and will send her an email to keep in touch. I hope to get to go back this year.

Susan, hooray for the clematitis returning!! Mine seems to be so hardy; however, it has yet to make an appearance this year. But, I'm sure it will. I have had a lot of seed pods the last two years. But, this is one of those plants that is tricky to germinate. It needs two cold periods - which makes me think it takes two years in the wild to germinate. I'll be putting the seeds back in the fridge in a couple of weeks. I have had success with germination and growing this plant. It just takes lots of patience. Wish I could say I'm successful at growing variegata!

The gophers are already busy, as are the moles. So, I will be planting some Castor bean plants in the garden in hopes that it will repel them.

Susan, we need to plan a trip to Pine Ridge to see Mary Ann this summer. Maybe we can meet up with others from the area.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 7:12PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Sandy, is Mary Ann still doing mail order?
I haven't gotten my catalog yet.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:54PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)


She is still doing mail order. She has her updated website. I got a catalog about a week ago.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:08PM
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