Pipevine - Aristolochia tomentosa
| Introduction |
Pipevine is a vigorous, climbing woody vine without tendrils. It has pipe shaped flowers and large, heart-shaped leaves. The flowers are about 3 cm long and curved, kind of like a pipe. It blooms from May to June. The fruit of the plant has a diameter of about 3 cm. It tends to like somewhat shady to sunny areas. It is native to most of the southeastern U.S. and grows best in full sun or partial shade and will need a trellis, fence or arbor to grow on. It can grow to be as tall as 20-30 feet!
Pipevine is a Host Plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail
(Battus philenor) use Pipevine as a host plant. The butterfly
Battus polydamas, whose range
includes most of the south eastern US also uses some species of Aristolochia as a host plant.
More Pipevine Pictures
The first picture is one of my pipevines after only a year or so of having it, the second one was taken after having
it a few years (that's a small butterfly bush growing in front of it):
Where to buy Pipevine
The only place I know of at the moment that sells Aristolochia tomentosa is Missouri Wildflowers in Jefferson City, MO., although I am sure that many other places sell it also. Most likely it would easier to find at a place that specializes in native plants rather than a general nursery. Nature Hills Nursery sells Aristolochia durior - which is also used by (Battus philenor)) .
One spring I had some animal bite off all the stems right above where it was growing out of the ground. The plant did
recover though. I now keep a barrier around it.
The Aristolochia Family
Usually herbs or woody vines with heart shaped flowers. Ten genera and 600 or so species in both temperate and tropical zones.
From the U. S. Department of Agriculture:
More information about Aristolochia tomentosa can be found at the USDA site and Wikipedia is a good source for information about Aristolochia also.
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