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Aristolochia serpentaria Aristolochia serpentaria

Common Name(s):

  • Virginia Dutchmanspipe
  • Virginia Snakeroot
Description

Aristilochia serpentaria is an herbaceous perennial groundcover in the Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort) family that works well in a woodland or shade garden. The flowers resemble those of Woolly Pipevine (Aristolochia tomentosa) and Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla), although the flowers of Virginia Snakeroot are smaller in size and they are held much closer to the ground. The latter two plants are much longer vines that are distributed primarily in SE United States. This plant prefers loamy soil with organic matter.

Regions: Southeastern and Midwestern US

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:                     Blooms: Spring             Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Capsule

Wildlife Value: Flowers are cross-pollinated primarily by flesh flies, fungus gnats, and possibly carrion beetles searching out nectar. The caterpillars of a butterfly, the Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor), feed on the foliage of Virginia snakeroot, although more than one plant is required to complete their development. Because the foliage and roots are toxic and unpleasant-tasting, mammalian herbivores do not feed on this plant.  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: ...

Cultivars:
Tags:
#purple#deciduous#partial shade#heavy shade#groundcover#brown#wildlife plant#purple flowers#deep shade#shade tolerant#woodland garden#shade garden#dry soil#wet sites#low flammability#purple flower#organic soils#deer resistant#loamy soil#caterpillars#Pipevine Swallowtail#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#purple#deciduous#partial shade#heavy shade#groundcover#brown#wildlife plant#purple flowers#deep shade#shade tolerant#woodland garden#shade garden#dry soil#wet sites#low flammability#purple flower#organic soils#deer resistant#loamy soil#caterpillars#Pipevine Swallowtail#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aristolochia
    Species:
    serpentaria
    Family:
    Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort)
    Synonyms:
    Aristolochia convolvulacea, Aristolochia hastata, Aristolochia nashii, Aristolochia serpentaria var. hastata, Aristolochia serpentaria var.nashii, Endodeca serpentaria, Endodeca serpentaria var. hastata
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers are cross-pollinated primarily by flesh flies, fungus gnats, and possibly carrion beetles searching out nectar. The caterpillars of a butterfly, the Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor), feed on the foliage of Virginia snakeroot, although more than one plant is required to complete their development. Because the foliage and roots are toxic and unpleasant-tasting, mammalian herbivores do not feed on this plant. This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer damage, shade, wet soil, dry soil, loamy soil, fire in landscape
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep Shade (No direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight (2-4 hrs) for only part of the day
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    This plant produces a 1/2-inch fruit that contains many seeds.
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    The Virginia Snakeroot has small purple-brown flowers that bloom in early summer at the base of the plant. This plant has an odd-looking small tan (sometimes brown) and purple-burgundy pitcher-shaped flowers that are found close to the ground, lying on the ground or under leaf litter. The flowers resemble those of Woolly Pipevine (Aristolochia tomentosa) and Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla), although the flowers of Virginia Snakeroot are smaller in size and they are held much closer to the ground. ;.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves of the Virginia Snakeroot are alternate and heart-shaped with a smooth margin. More specifically, it has alternate leaves that zigzag on the stem between pairs of succeeding leaves. The leaf blades are 2–5" long and ½–2" across. They are narrowly cordate, ovate-sagittate, or narrowly hastate with a pair of rounded basal lobes.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Description:
    This plant has alternate leaves that zigzag on the stem between pairs of succeeding leaves.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil