The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section VI. Vines and Climbing Plants

Pipe-vine, or Birthwort Aristolochia sipho

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One of the most singular and picturesque climbing shrubs or plants which we cultivate, is the Pipe-vine, or Birthwort (Aristolochia sipho). It is a native of the Alleghany mountains, and is one of the tallest of twining plants, growing on the trees there to the height of 90 or 100 feet, though in gardens it is often kept down to a frame of four or five feet high. The leaves are of a noble size, being eight or nine inches broad, and heart-shaped in outline. The flowers, about an inch or a little more in length, are very singular. They are dark yellow, spotted with brown, in shape like a bent siphon-like tube, which opens at the extremity, the whole flower resembling, as close as possible, a very small Dutchman's pipe, whence the vine is frequently so called by the country people. It flowers in the beginning of summer, and the foliage, during the whole growing season, has a very rich and luxuriant appearance. Aristolochia tomentosa is a smaller species, with leaves and flowers of less size, the former downy or hairy on the under surface.