February 15, 2018

Northern Pipevine (Aristolochia contorta)

Northern Pipevine (Aristolochia contorta) this is robust (to about 3m = 10ft tall) dense herbaceous climber with perennial rhizomes.  It is native to China, Japan, Korea, Russia (Siberia) and is full frost hardy in zone 6. It creates numerous very lovely (but not showy), yellow-green-purple odd-shaped inflorescences. 
The inflorescences of Northern Pipevine (Aristolochia contorta)
It blooms in my 50°N latitude in August. This is self-incompatible so there are necessary at least 2 genetically different plants, to creating fruits. I have only 1 plant so I have not seen them. It likes well drained but moist soils and full sun or half-shade position. If it grows in half shade it is very drought resistant when established. It is medicinal herb (antimicrobial, hallucinogenic, immuno-stimulating, antitumor and hypotensive). It is used in folk medicine for example in Korea. It is very rarely cultivated as ornamental for lovely inflorescences and dense leaf-shoots. There is hard to find viable seeds of this species. It can be propagated by seeds or dividing of rhizomes (in early spring).
The inflorescences are odd-shaped and lovely close up, but not very showy

It can be quite large climber

Plant in inflorescences just after rain

The leaves are glabrous and paller on down surface

If you have viable seeds or young plants this species or any its other frost hardy, herbaceous perennial cousins, please write to me.

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