Susanne Brueckner examines the Giant Dutchman’s Pipe Vine now blooming at the San Diego Botanic Garden. Courtesy of the garden

Head-sized maroon flowers smelling like lemon furniture polish are now blooming on the unusual Giant Dutchman’s Pipe Vine at the San Diego Botanic Garden.

The vine, whose scientific name is Aristolochia gigantea, is native to Brazil and Panama and will bloom until mid July.

In addition to its large size, it has an unusual method of pollination — trapping insects inside its giant flower for a day, but not killing them.

The 37-acre garden in Encinitas is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.