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Saturday - July 21, 2012

From: Redrock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can't i.d a small aroid, arisaema(?) sp.; 5" tall. tuber 12" tall by 1" beginning 8" beneath the soil level. flowers are black spathes with white spots. leaves are alternate. common plant but discreet. find them in dirt parking lots and dirt roads exposed, full sun, hard gravel and sandy soils. before it blooms it looks like a lanky indian paintbrush start.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Aristolochia erecta (Swanflower).  It is in the Family Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort Family) but its flowers do resemble some of those of the Arisema spp., Family Araceae (Arum Family).  You can see in the USDA Plants Database distribution map that it occurs in Bastrop County.  Here are more photos from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas and information from eFloras.org.

 

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