Pipe Vine - Aristolochia macrophylla
The large, gorgeous heart-shaped leaves of the pipe vine make this plant ideal for landscape enhancements and butterflies. A native of eastern North America, this plant is also known as “Dutchman’s pipe” due to its flowers’ resemblance to the old-fashioned meerschaum pipe that was once popular in Germany and the Netherlands. This deciduous, woody vine grows rapidly and profusely. Pipe vine can be cultivated in USDA zones 4-8 with an average height of 25 to 30 feet and a spread as much as 10 to 20 feet.
Between May and June, the pine vine produces delicate yellow, purple, and green pipe-shaped flowers. Although the vine is named for its unique blooms, many growers admire the plant primarily for its dense foliage which often hides the flowers. It is easy to cultivate and highly tolerant of varying growing conditions.
Pipe vine tends to flourish in full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil with regular watering. This vine should be planted in a location with plenty of space to grow as it is quite robust. Pipe vine twines as it grows, so many growers train it to grow around something they choose.
Pipe vine’s dense foliage makes it immensely useful for adding privacy, casting shade to keep an area cool, and hiding eyesores in landscaping. Moreover, this plant is the pipevine swallowtail butterfly’s primary food, containing chemicals that make the feeding caterpillars poisonous to would-be predators. Thus, pipe vine offers manifold benefits to the landscape and ecosystem overall.
This plant is a very hardy one and it works well in most zones. It's a soil stabilizer too and works well for soil erosion purposes as well as habitat restructure.