Family: Aristolochiaceae
type : Evergreen, Vines / Ground Covers, Deciduous
sun exposure : Varies by Species
water : Regular Water, Ample Water
Plant Details

Twining vines noted for curiously shaped flowers in rather somber colors; the flowers resemble curved pipes with flared bowls or birds with bent necks. Vigorous growers; thin out unwanted growth in late dormant season or wait until after bloom. If plant is too thick and tangled for selective thinning, cut it to the ground before spring growth begins.

california dutchman's pipe


aristolochia californica

  • CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Deciduous.
  • Native to Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California.
  • Will cover an 8- by 12 feet screen with some training or climb by long, thin shoots 1015 feet into any nearby tree without harming it.
  • Flower display comes before leaf-out in late winter or early spring; pendulous, 1 inches-long blooms are cream colored with red-purple veins.
  • Bright green, heart-shaped leaves to 5 inches long.
  • Interesting and useful where many less hardy vines would freeze.
  • Sometimes used as a ground cover.
  • Grows from seed.
  • Accepts any soil; best in partial shade.

giant dutchman's pipe

aristolochia gigantea

  • Evergreen.
  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • From Panama and Brazil.
  • To 30 feet Triangular to heart-shaped, dark green leaves can reach 4 inches long.
  • Blooms in summer, bearing flowers to 1 feet long and half as wide; blossoms are burgundy with creamy white netting and a golden throat.
  • Aristolochia brasiliensis (A.
  • g.
  • brasiliensis) has flowers to 10 inches long and 7 inches wide, in an intricate netted pattern of white and brown.
  • Sun or partial shade.

pelican flower

aristolochia grandiflora

  • Evergreen.
  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • From Central America and the West Indies.
  • Vigorous grower to 30 feet or more.
  • Deep green, heart-shaped leaves to 10 inches long.
  • Roundish flowers to 8 inches across bloom in late summer; they are white with burgundy-red veining, a red center, and a slender, foot-long, dangling tail (an extension of the blossom's lower lip).
  • Flowers are smelly, so be careful where you plant this one.
  • Give partial shade.

aristolochia littoralis(Aristolochia elegans)

  • Evergreen.
  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11; or indoors.
  • Native to Brazil.
  • Grows 1525 feet high.
  • Wiry, slender stems; heart-shaped leaves 3 inches long.
  • Blooms in summer; whitish buds shaped like little pelicans open to 3 inches-wide, heart-shaped flowers of deep purple veined in creamy white.
  • Needs rich soil, partial shade.

aristolochia macrophylla(Aristolochia durior)

  • Deciduous.
  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9; short lived in warm-winter areas.
  • From eastern U.S. Easily grown from seed.
  • Large (6- to 14 inches-long), kidney-shaped, deep green leaves are carried in shinglelike pattern to form a dense cloak on a trellis; the vine will cover a 15- by 20 feet area in a single season and is a longtime favorite for screening porches.
  • Blooms in late spring, early summer.
  • Flowers are almost hidden by leaves; each is a yellowish green, 3 inches., curved tube flaring into three brownish purple lobes about 1 inches wide.
  • Thrives in full sun to heavy shade.
  • Give average to good soil and ample water for fastest growth, largest leaves.
  • Will not stand strong winds.
  • Preferred host of the pipevine swallowtail larvae; tropical species may poison them.

aristolochia peruviana

  • Evergreen.
  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • From South America.
  • Rare but worth the search.
  • Grows upright to 12 feet., with medium green, heart-shaped leaves to 3 inches long.
  • Cup-shaped blooms about 1 inches long and 34 inches wide may bloom in spring, summer, or fall; they are golden yellow with red edge markings on the inside, mottled chocolate-brown on the outside.
  • Performs well in low light; fine on shaded patio in warmest areas.
  • Interesting houseplant or indoor/outdoor plant.

Search by Plant Name