This strange plant is one of the newer additions to my garden. It is Aristolochia trilobata, a member of a family of vines commonly called "Dutchman's Pipe." I have three different "Dutchman's Pipes" growing in my garden. While they all have odd flowers, this is by far the strangest.
A. trilobata is named for its three-lobed leaves. Its flowers are apparently pollinated by flies, as it smells (I kid you not) like a nice, fresh pile of dog poop. I'm not sure of the function of the long streamer that hangs down from the top of the flower's bell. Perhaps a ladder for insects to climb? This one has a streamer that is almost a foot long!
You may wonder why I am growing such a plant. Well, ever since childhood I have been fascinated by oddities in the natural world. Besides, A. trilobata is a nice, easy to grow vine with attractive, shiny foliage. So why not?