Aristolochia macrophylla
Common Name: Dutchman's pipe
Type: Vine
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States (Appalachians)
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 15.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellow, green, purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers rich, moist soil. Intolerant of dry soils. Cut back in late winter to control growth. Grows well from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aristolochia macrophylla is a deciduous, woody, climbing vine that is an eastern American native which typically occurs in the wild in rich, moist woods and along streams. Can rapidly grow to 20-30'. An old-fashioned favorite that is grown for its large, heart-shaped, densely overlapping leaves (6-12" long) which can quickly cover an arbor or trellis with attractive, glossy, deep green foliage. Although the flowers make interesting conversation pieces, they are usually hidden by the dense foliage and are somewhat inconspicuous.

Genus name comes from the Greek words aristos meaning best and locheia meaning childbirth or delivery in reference to the fact that plants of some species within this genus (1) have a flower structure which more closely resembles a human fetus in the womb than a pipe, and (2) served in the past as the source of ancient plant preparations used for treatment of pain and infections incident to childbirth.

Specific epithet means large-leaved.

Commonly called Dutchman's pipe because the unusual, 2" long, yellowish-green flowers (each flaring at the calyx mouth to form 3 brownish-purple lobes) superficially resemble Dutch smoking pipes.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Will quickly provide dense cover for sun porches, verandas, pillars, posts, trellises, arbors, fences or walls. Has been used for many years to screen front porches, and is capable of creating a deep shade.