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Aristolochia littoralis (elegans)
(a-ris-to-LO-chi-a)
Dutchman's Pipe or Calico Flower
ARISTOLOCHIACEAE

Calico FlowerAn unusual vigorous climber which bears pipe-shaped flowers, it will cover an arbor or pergola in one season.  Butterflies love the flowers. They bloom in the summer and in the fall.  The leaves are heart shaped. The plant grows mostly in moist woodlands and in temperate and tropical climates. 

They are wonderful for screening, but, they have some smell.

The plant will grow in well drained, good soil, in some or partial shade. It will grow 25 - 30 feet in height.

Calico FlowerPropagation

Seed pods should be harvested when they are mature. This is when the pod is probably brown and crunchy in form. It may start to open on its own to disperse the seeds. In the A-Z reference it suggests one should sow the seed of hardy species at 55-61 degrees F. and more tender species at 70-75 degrees F. as soon as the seed is ripe or in the spring.

Other ways to propagate this plant is to take cuttings of softwood in early spring, if it is a hardy species take cuttings in mid-summer. You can divide the plant in the early spring or take root cuttings thru for the winter.


Dutchman's PipeEmily: My grandmother had a Dutchman's Pipe

I am a 74 year old male and I remember my grandmother had a Dutchman's Pipe growing on a trellis at the back of her house. I thought it was the most unusual and beautiful thing I had ever seen when it bloomed.

She had been a member of a garden club in another town, to which my grandfather would drive her to attend each month. She managed to have the most beautiful yard with flowers no one else in town grew. Her love for flowers, shrubs, vines and trees instilled the love of gardening in me, for which I am eternally thankful.

I remember her arbor was covered with an old Wisteria that bloomed profusely and smelled like a rare perfume. The honeybees swarmed wildly around the arbor, going from one blossom to the other.

Ah, the wonderful memories of childhood!

San Marcos, Texas

Tip: Remember, nothing will germinate or grow in the garden until the soil warms up.