Photo by JLBG taken at Juniper Level Botanic Gdn, NC
White Veined Hardy Dutchman's Pipe
Item #: 3031
Zones: 7a to 9b
Height: 6" tall
Origin: Argentina, Brazil
Aristolochia fimbriata is a really cool deciduous groundcover Dutchman's pipe that spreads out to 2'. The prostrate little green stems are clothed with medium green rounded leaves, each highlighted with dramatic silver veining. The cute, little, 1" long, yellow and brown flowers resemble miniature elephant trunks and are produced along the stem all summer. In winter, the stems retreat back to the base so there are no invasive problems with this gem! The only "ornamental" downside is that aristolochia is a delicacy for pipevine swallowtail butterfly larvae in midsummer...less foliage, but more butterflies!
This delicate little trailer grows from a 6" long carrot-like taproot. It must store enough food to allow regrowth of new stems after being eaten by pipevine swallowtail butterfly larvae. It is likely that the larger a planting of pipevine plants is, the more likely that they will be utilized by Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies. So don't plant just one, plant masses of them. You will get plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful foliage and the occasional flower and then the miracle of caterpillars becoming butterflies and the knowledge that you supported a native butterfly and fellow traveler on this planet.
The fruit of this species are fascinating as well, opening from the top of the fruit they resemble the gondola of a hot-air balloon.
This is a very low maintenance plant, requiring only a sunny location with average drainage. It will tolerate a dry site. It completely disappears in winter, returning each spring. Propagation is by seed.
Some species of Aristolochia are known as birthwort, as some were used to assist birth. Aristolochia means "well born". (And "wort" is Old English for plant.)
Bloom Time: Summer
Container Role: Spillers
Other: Fragrant Foliage Plants , Butterfly Attracting Plants , Deer Resistant Plants , Drought Tolerant Plants , Groundcovers , Pollinator Plants , Medicinal Plants , Ornamental Seed or Fruit , Tropical Looking Plants , Xeriscaping Plants , Patterned Foliage