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Dutchman's Pipe Aristolochia macrophylla

Previously known as:

  • Aristolochia durior
  • Aristolochia grandifolia
  • Aristolochia sipho
  • Isotrema macrophylla
Phonetic Spelling
ah-ris-toh-LOH-kee-ah mak-roh-FYE-lah
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Dutchman's Pipe is a deciduous, woody, climbing vine in the Birthwort family. It is native to southeastern Canada and the eastern United States. It is typically found in the wild, in moist woods, or near streams. Other common names for this vine are Pipevine, Broad-Leaved Birthwort, and Wild Ginger.

The genus name, Aristolochia, is the combination of two words. The Greek word, aristos, translated means "best." The Greek word, locheia, translated means "childbirth." This references the flower's structure resembling a human fetus. The species name, macrophylla, is Latin and means "large leaves." The Dutchman's Pipe leaves are up to 12 inches long and heart-shaped. The common name, Dutchman's Pipe, is derived from the flower's appearance, which resembles the Meeershaun smoking pipes once used in Europe.

This native vine prefers rich, moist, and well-drained soil. It is intolerant of dry soil and needs protection from strong winds.  The plant prefers full sun to partial shade. It may be pruned in the late winter to control its growth. Seeds and cuttings are used to propagate this vine.

The flowers are usually inconspicuous because they are hidden or lost in the vine's dense foliage. The small blossoms are yellow-greenish with brownish-purple lobes in the shape of a smoking pipe. The leaves are smooth, heart-shaped, deep green, and silver-colored underneath. The fruits are green capsules that turn gray to black when they mature.  

The overlapping and dense cloak of leaves can form a beautiful screen for a garden or porch wall.

Hummingbirds are attracted to the plant's flowers for nectar. The Dutchman's Pipe is the main larval food source for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly.  The flowers emit an odor that attracts flies and aids in pollination. The vine is moderately resistant to deer.

Caution: The plants of this genus contain a toxin known as aristolochic acid. Ingestion of any part of this plant may cause irreversible kidney failure. The Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly is immune to this poison in this particular species.

Insect, Disease, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious disease/insect problems

Fire Risk: This plant has an extreme flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home.  Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home. 

Similar plants:  Aristolochia tomentosa (Wooly Dutchman's Pipe) has hairy stems and foliage. Aristolochia macrophylla (Dutchman's  Pipe) has mostly smooth stems and foliage.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#mahogany#cream#wildlife plants#spring flowers#swallowtail butterflies#air pollution tolerant#disease resistant#fast growing#privacy#fire#extreme flammability#NC native#pest resistant#fences#trellises#vines#twining#dappled sunlight#deer resistant#cream flowers#caterpillars#native garden#spring interest#native vine#screening#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#garden walls#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#pollinator garden#audubon#pipevine swallowtail butterfly#partial sun tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#mahogany#cream#wildlife plants#spring flowers#swallowtail butterflies#air pollution tolerant#disease resistant#fast growing#privacy#fire#extreme flammability#NC native#pest resistant#fences#trellises#vines#twining#dappled sunlight#deer resistant#cream flowers#caterpillars#native garden#spring interest#native vine#screening#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#garden walls#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#pollinator garden#audubon#pipevine swallowtail butterfly#partial sun tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aristolochia
    Species:
    macrophylla
    Family:
    Aristolochiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    In the past, a European species was used medically for pain or infections related to childbirth.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern Canada and Eastern United States
    Distribution:
    Native: Canada--Ontario; United States--GA, KY, MD, NY, NC, PA, SC, TN, VT, VA, and WV; Introduced: Germany, Uzbekistan, United States--CT, MA, and NJ;
    Fire Risk Rating:
    extreme flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a larval host plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly. The leaves are an important food source for the caterpillars.
    Play Value:
    Screening
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    The vine has few pest or disease problems. It is able to withstand urban pollution quite well.
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Edibility:
    All parts of the vine are toxic if ingested
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    In late summer or early fall, a greenish six-sided capsule forms. It measures 2 inches long and 3/4 inches wide. It ripens to a gray or black capsule.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The Dutchman's Pipe flowers are inconspicuous and hidden by the vine's dense foliage. They measure 1-2 inches long and resemble Dutch smoking pipes. They are yellow-greenish in color with brownish-purple lobes and have no petals. They bloom from May to June and have an unusual fragrance.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are large, smooth, and heart-shaped. The leaf is dark green on the upper surface and pale silver beneath. They measure up to 12 inches long and create a dense screen on a trellis, arbor, fence, or wall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark is brown and fairly smooth. It develops shallow vertical splits.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are slender and green but eventually will turn brown. They have wooly buds.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Diseases
    Insect Pests
    Pollution
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Ingestion of any parts of this plant may cause irreversible kidney failure.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Aristolochic acid--lethal toxin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems