Calico cotton chintz
Kirkazon, oraristolochia (lat. Aristolochia) - a genus of perennial herbs and woody vines of the Kirkazonov family (Aristolochiaceae) It has about 350 species, in the tropical, less often in the temperate zones.
Species of the genus Kirkazon are perennial herbaceous plants with smooth erect or curly shoots or woody vines.
The leaves are simple, petiolate, alternate, in many species - heart-shaped.
The flowers are zygomorphic, collected in short inflorescences in the axils of the leaves. The corolla is usually absent. The perianth is tubular, inflated at the bottom, at the upper end of most species with an oblique tongue-like limb. Stamens 3-6, short, fused with a column, forming the so-called gynostemia. The flowers are cross-pollinated, stigmas ripen before anthers, which excludes self-pollination.
The fruit is a dry spherical or pear-shaped box.
Propagate kirkazon seeds, layering and cuttings, the latter is more difficult. Cuttings are carried out in spring or autumn - at the end of September - beginning of October, using ripened annual shoots, although it is possible to root semi-lignified cuttings in July - early August. A mixture of sand and peat is poured onto specially prepared ridges in a ratio of 1: 1 and mixed with soil. Cuttings are cut 20 cm long and planted obliquely, leaving one or two buds on the surface, abundantly watered and mulched with peat.
Similarly, spring cuttings are carried out in May, before buds open, but for better rooting it is advisable to cover the cuttings with a film or glass jars. The roots are formed after three weeks, as can be seen from the growing shoots, after which the plant is accustomed to the open air, raising the shelter. Planting plants in a permanent place is better in the fall or next spring.
You can propagate kirkazon horizontal layering, laying them in the spring. Seeds are best sown in open ground late in the fall, in a semi-shady place. In the spring, friendly shoots appear, as they grow, they dive, growing for one to two years. During spring sowing, stratification is necessary at a temperature of 5-8 ° C.
Young plants are covered with a dry leaf layer of 6-8 cm. Seedlings do not always winter well, often die after germination. Aristolochia graceful and felt do not winter at all in central Russia. The growth rate is quite low in the early years, and increases significantly with age.
© M.S. del.
Kirkazon is an entomophilous, that is, a plant pollinated by insects, pollinators are mainly flies, beetles and mosquitoes.
The pollination process in these plants is very interesting. The spotted coloration of the bent perianth tongue resembles rotting meat; flowers of many species also emit an unpleasant odor that attracts flies. Inside the tubular part of the perianth there are obliquely directed inward hairs that prevent the insect that has penetrated into the flower from crawling back, so the fly is trapped and, crawling in search of a way out, pollinates the flower. After pollination, the hairs wither and fall, opening the way out, and the anthers open, dusting the creeping insect, which flies to another flower, and the process repeats there.
In several South American species, the flower is even more complicated: in addition to the trap, it has an additional chamber, the so-called "prison", where the organs of reproduction of the flower are located. Moreover, the walls of the "prison" have a lighter color than the walls of the trap, and the insect, rushing towards the light, crawls there. After pollination, on the contrary, the trap becomes lighter.
Most species of kirkazon grow in tropical regions of America, Africa and Asia, and only a few species are found in temperate zones. In Russia - 5 species (in the European part, in the North Caucasus and the Far East).
Many types of kirkazona are decorative and grown in parks and greenhouses. Huge flowers of Kirkazon large-flowered (Aristolochia grandiflora) reach 33 cm in length and 27 cm in diameter. Often grown large-leaved circason (Aristolochia macrophylla) having leaves up to 30 cm long and flowers in the shape of a pipe. Circason graceful (Aristolochia elegans) received the name "chintz flower" for the peculiar color of its flowers.
© Stan Shebs
Some types of kirkazon (for example, kirkazon lomonosovidny (Aristolochia clematitis)) are medicinal plants. There is evidence in the literature that some South American species (in particular, Kirkazon are serpentine (Aristolochia serpentaria) were used in local folk medicine as a remedy for snake bites.
Aqueous, alcoholic and etheric extracts from leaves and rhizomes have a protistocidal and antimicrobial effect. Aristolokhin has low toxicity, increases the strength of heart contractions, dilates peripheral blood vessels, slightly stimulates breathing, has a diuretic and choleretic effect, reduces the tone and strength of uterine contractions. In patients in the first stage of hypertension, lowers blood pressure.
In Bulgarian medicine, the root and aerial parts of the plant are used. The root in the form of a decoction in small doses is used as a diuretic, diaphoretic in case of fever and atony of the intestine (in the form of tincture). In the form of a decoction as an external agent for boils and other skin diseases in the form of rubbing, washing.
In domestic folk medicine, water infusion, decoction and tincture of leaves and rhizomes are used for dropsy, pulmonary tuberculosis, cough, gout and scurvy, as well as for the treatment of wounds, ulcers and skin diseases. Powder infused with wine has a laxative effect.
However, because of the toxicity, the use of drugs from this plant should be strictly prescribed by a doctor.
You should also be aware that since 2008 the import into the territory of Russia, the manufacture and sale of biologically active additives, which include kircazone, have been banned.
Manchurian circason (Aristolochia manshuriensis) is a rare species and is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. Its collection for the manufacture of medicines is limited and subject to mandatory control of public services.
© Panos & Stavros
© Jude’s Jewels (back on a little)
© Petra Capensis