A tree with flowers like mushrooms

There’s a tree I’m thrilled to see at Kew Gardens. It’s Aristolochia arborea, a tree which appears to have no common name. If I tell you something about it, maybe you’d like to try to name it.

Here it is, in full flower:

Kew Gardens - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Aristolochia arborea grows in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. It produces flowers close to the forest floor and it’s these flowers which are the most extraordinary part of Aristolochia arborea. The flowers mimic fungi, have a strange musty smell, and are pollinated by the flies and fungus gnats they attract. This stem looks just like a rotten stump, sprouting fungi in autumn, when it’s actually a tree in full bloom with flowers which mimic fungi. How cool is that?

What common name would you give it in English?

Feel free to leave a Reply :)