Gaping Dutchman's Pipe is a tall, hairless slender twiner, native to
Brazil, but now cultivated throughout the tropical world. Leaves are
stalked, round, almost kidney-shaped, pale green above, glaucous beneath.
On the leaf blade, 5-7 nerves radiate from the base. Stipules are
noticeably leaflike, 2-lobed, kidney-shaped. Flower stalk is slender, four
times as long as the leaf stalk. Flowers, 7-10 inches long, are greenish,
marked with dark purple. Flower has an obovoid sack, 2.5 inches long,
woolly inside. The flower tube ascends obliquely from the sack, dividing
into two very long lips. The two lips give an impression of a gaping
mouth. The species name ringens
means snarling in Latin.
The roots of this plant are well known as an
antidote for snake bites in New Granada.