Aristolochia tomentosa

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: Dutchman's pipe 
Type: Vine
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Native Range: Southeastern and south-central United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Greenish yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers rich, moist soils. Intolerant of dry soils. If needed, cut back in late winter to control growth. Grows well from seed. New growth twines in a clockwise direction.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aristolochia tomentosa, commonly called Dutchman's pipe, is a woody, deciduous, twining vine which is native to Missouri where it typically occurs along streams and in moist woods primarily in counties south of the Missouri River. It is typically seen in the wild climbing trees or shrubs and can rapidly grow to 20-30' tall. Features large, heart-shaped, densely-overlapping leaves (4-8" long) which can quickly cover an arbor or trellis with deep green foliage. Blooms in mid to late spring in the St. Louis area. Although the flowers make interesting conversation pieces, they are usually hidden by the dense foliage and are somewhat inconspicuous. Flowers give way to ribbed, tubular seed capsules (to 3" long) which mature to a grayish-brown in September. The leaves, young stems and flowers of this species are hairy (tomentose as the species name suggests). Very similar to A. macrophylla which is native to eastern North America, except A. macrophylla is basically glabrous (smooth). Aristolochia is a larval plant for the pipe vine swallowtail butterfly.

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 hairy.

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


No serious insect or disease problems.


Can provide dense cover for sun porches, verandas, pillars, posts, trellises, arbors, fences or walls. Has been popularly used for many years to screen front porches. good selection for a butterfly garden.