Common Names in English:
, rarely lianas, subshrubs
, or trees
, stems, and leaves with oil cells
. Leaves alternate; stipules absent; petiole
usually present and well defined; leaf blade
, usually pinnately veined, sometimes palmately 3-5-veined, margin
usually entire, rarely 3-5-lobed. Inflorescences terminal
, cymes, or corymbs, or flowers solitary. Flowers bisexual
, zygomorphic or actinomorphic
. Perianth usually with 1 petaloid
whorl (in Saruma with 2 whorls: outer one sepaloid
, inner one petaloid), mostly connate
or subglobose; limb rotate, urceolate
, cylindric, or ligulate
, 1-3-lobed; lobes
. Stamens 6-12 (in China), in 1 or 2 series; filaments
to ovary (in Asarum) or style column (in Thottea) with anthers
, or filaments and anthers fully adnate to style column to form gynostemium
(in Aristolochia) ; anthers 2-loculed, dehiscence longitudinal
. Ovary inferior to superior, 6-loculed (in Thottea 4-loculed) ; carpels connate only at base
or fully fused; ovules numerous
, usually in 1 or 2 series; placentation parietal
. Styles free or connate, column 3- or 6-lobed (in Thottea 5-20-lobed) . Fruit a fleshy
or dry capsule, rarely siliquiform or follicular
. Seeds many; testa somewhat hard or crustaceous
; endosperm copious
, fleshy; embryo minute.
About eight genera and 450 600 species: primarily in tropical and subtropical regions; four genera (one endemic) and 86 species (69 endemic) in China.
Herbs or lianas, perennial
. Stems erect
, or procumbent
. Leaves alternate, 2-ranked (evident on young growth, becoming obscure
with age in some species) ; true stipules absent; pseudostipules absent [present]; petiole
sometimes very short. Leaf blade
membranous to leathery. Inflorescences on new growth or on older stems, axillary
or solitary flowers; bracts present. Flowers: calyx usually mixture of purple, brown, green, or red, bilaterally symmetric
, usually bent or curved
, 1- or 3-lobed, not fleshy
with utricle (basal, inflated
portion of calyx surrounding or containing gynostemium
) ; tube
narrowed, sometimes extended proximally as cylindric
(tubular or ringlike structure at juncture of tube and utricle, projecting
into utricle cavity) and distally as annulus (circular flange
at juncture of tube and limb) on limb; corolla absent; stamens 5-6, adnate
to styles and stigmas, forming gynostemium; ovary inferior, 3-, 5-, or 6-locular; styles 3, 5, or 6, connate
in column. Capsule dry, dehiscent
. Seeds flattened or rounded
, sometimes winged
= 6, 7, 8.
Species ca. 300: nearly worldwide.
Most European and tropical species of Aristolochia are believed to be pollinated by small flies attracted to the flowers by the fetid odors and purple-brown color. Flies enter the flower when the stigmas are receptive and are trapped until after the anthers dehisce (H. Solereder 1889, 1889b). No formal studies of pollination of the North American species have been reported.
Many species of Aristolochia have been used in the treatment of snakebite; the treatment may or may not be effective. All species contain aristolochic acid , which is variously reported as tumor-causing or tumor-inhibiting (J. A. Duke 1985).
The leaves of many species are eaten by pipe-vine swallowtail butterflies. The larvae eat leaves of these species and sequester aristolochic acid in their bodies, making them unpalatable to birds (W. H. Howe 1975).
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Novák ex Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Dumortier, 1829
- A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons.
- Subfamily: Aristolochioideae ()
- Family: Aristolochiaceae () - A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons. - birthworts
- Order: Piperales () - Dumortier, 1829
- Superorder: Magnolianae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Subclass: Magnoliidae () - Novák ex Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
: L. Publication
An accepted name in the RHS Horticultural Database.
Members of the genus Aristolochia
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 40 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
A. anguicida (Harlequin Dutchman's Pipe) · A. baetica (Birthwort) · A. bilabiata (West Indian Dutchman's Pipe) · A. bilobata (Twolobe Dutchman's Pipe) · A. brasiliensis (Aristolochia) · A. californica (California Dutchman's Pipe) · A. chilensis (Oreja De Zorro) · A. clematitis (Birthwort) · A. contorta (Dutchmans Pipe) · A. cordifolia (Heartleaf Dutchman's Pipe) · A. coryi (Cory's Dutchman's Pipe) · A. cymbifera (Mil-Homens) · A. elegans (Calico Flower) · A. erecta (Dutchman's Pipe) · A. fimbriata (White Veined Dutchmans Pipe) · A. gigantea (Calico Flower) · A. gigantea 'Brasiliensis' (Dutchmans Pipe) · A. grandiflora (Calico Flower) · A. indica (Indian Birthwort) · A. labiata (Mottled Dutchman's Pipe) · A. leuconeura (Aristolochia) · A. littoralis (Calico Flower) · A. macrophylla (Broadleafed Birthwort) · A. manshuriensis (Birthwort) · A. maxima (Florida Dutchman's Pipe) · A. odoratissima (Fragrant Dutchman's Pipe) · A. pearcei (Scrambling Dutchmans Pipe) · A. peltata (Peltate Dutchman's Pipe) · A. pentandra (Marsh's Dutchman's Pipe) · A. peruviana (Aristolochia) · A. pilosa (Pipevine) · A. reticulata (Texas Dutchman's Pipe) · A. ringens (Dutchman's Pipe) · A. sempervirens (Dutchmans Pipe) · A. serpentaria (Black Snakeroot) · A. tomentosa (Common Dutchmanspipe) · A. trilobata (Bejuco De Santiago) · A. watsonii (Indian Root) · A. wrightii (Wright's Dutchman's Pipe) · A. 'Guimaraes' (Dutchmans Pipe)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 16, 2007:
- National Herbarium of New South Wales, NSW herbarium collection
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 1671761
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 15059168
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:93025-1
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 140046-3
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 1197380
- Liguo Fu, Nan Li & Robert R. Mill "Aristolochiaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 5 Page 246. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Kerry Barringer "Aristolochia". in Flora of North America Vol. 3. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]