Pipeweed family (Aristolochiaceae)
Evergreen perennial with creeping rhizome from which stems 5-10 cm in length grow up. Has 2-4 leathery, dark-green, kidney-shaped leaves on long, hairy stalks. Smells of pepper. Single flowers hang down low on short pedicels, often on ground. Perianth single, bell-shaped ca. 15 m long, dirty purple internally, green-brown on outside, and formed from three hairy segments. 12 stamens. Flowers Mar.-May.
Grows on mesic, fertile soils, in oak-lime-hornbeam or riparian forest. Flowers pollinated by ground-dwelling insects, especially ants (myrmecochory). Plant simultaneously POISONOUS and with medicinal applications.
Descriptions devised by the team at the Independent Department of Forest Botany, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, i.e. L. Witkowska-Żuk, K. Marciszewska, W. Ciurzycki, A. Obidziński and P. Zaniewski