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Dutchmans Pipe
Aristolochia californica
  
About Dutchmans Pipe (Aristolochia californica) 35 Nurseries Carry This Plant One of the most distinctive of California's endemic plants is Aristolochia californica, the California pipevine or California Dutchman's-pipe. It is a deciduous vine with purple-striped curving pipe-shaped flowers which give rise to winged capsular green fruits. If given the right conditions it will flower profusely. After it blooms, the plant sends out new green heart-shaped leaves. The vines grow from rhizomes to a length of over twenty feet and can become quite thick in circumference at maturity. In the wild it will spread out over open ground or sprawl over other plants. This plant is common in moist woods and along streams in northern and central California, usually below 1,500 ft. The flowers have an unpleasant odor which is attractive to tiny carrion-feeding insects. The insects crawl into the convoluted flowers and often become stuck and disoriented for some time, picking up pollen as they wander. Most eventually escape; the plant is not insectivorous as was once thought. Fungus gnats (Mycetophilidae) may prove to be the effective pollinators. G.L. Stebbins suggested (California Native Plant Soc. Newsletter, 1971 Vol. 7 p. 4-5) that pollination by deceit is presumed.

This plant is the only host plant of the pipevine swallowtail butterfly

Clarification- The pipes are the flowers
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Vine

Size
Size
1 - 20 ft tall

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Fragrance
Fragrance
Fragrant - Unpleasant

Flower Color
Flower Color
Cream, Purple

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Winter, Spring

Wildlife Supported
 
Numerous insects. It is the host plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly. When seed pods mature, their opening draws numbers of yellowjackets; placement of this plant should take this into account.

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 confirmed ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Low, Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / week once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 25° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Slow

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils. Soil PH: 5.0 - 7.0

Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant, Groundcovers

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Moisture and shade tolerant species of Manzanita (Arctostaphylos species), Oaks (Quercus species) and Ceanothus species; also Woodland Strawberry (Fragraria Vesca), Fringe Cups (Tellima grandiflora), Alum Root (Heuchera micrantha), Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea), Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica), and fern species

Maintenance
Maintenance
Can be trained to climb a trellis, fence or wall; prune as necessary in winter when it is dormant

Propagation
Propagation?
In June, cover the Aristolochia californica fruits so that the wasps don't eat the seeds. When the fruits split open, near the end of summer, take out the seeds and plant them. They sprout in January or so. And by June, the seedlings are looking good.(Credit-Sal Levinson) While you can propagate California Pipevine (Aristolochia californica) almost any time of year if you have suitable plant material, winter and early spring months are our most successful times to take cuttings due to cooler weather and the vine’s natural growing pattern. If you have access to a mature vine (or a friend with one) you can try propagating from cuttings. (Credit-California Pipevine Swallowtail Project Facebook)

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Streamsides, damp shady areas in the northern Coast Ranges, Central Valley and Sierra foothills

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 14.3" - 76.8", Summer Precipitation: 0.21" - 2.41", Coldest Month: 35.3" - 51.1", Hottest Month: 61.2" - 77.2", Humidity: 0.45" - 26.55", Elevation: -1" - 4907"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Calif. Pipe Vine, California Dutchman's Pipe, California Pipevine


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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