Dutchman’s pipe

Dutchman’s pipe

Aristolochia elegans

Common Name:

Dutchman’s pipe

Scientific Name:

Aristolochia elegans

Alternative common names:

Sisblom (Afrikaans), Calico flower (English)


Distinguished by climbing habitat; leaves with heart-shaped base, leaf stalk twisted and with a stipule like small leaf at the base; flowers showy, made up of large pipe - shaped, petal-like calyx fruit an oblong capsule, ending in a projection; seeds tear-drop shaped. 

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

South America and West Indies

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Limpopo and Mpumalanga

How does it spread?

It spreads by seeds

Why is it a problem?

Overtops and smothers other species. Poisonous

What does it look like?

Leaves: Alternate - Bright green above, greyish below, membranous, heart- to kidney-shaped, 5-7 nerved from the base, 20-80(-120) mm long; stipules round to kidney-shaped, 10-20 mm long.

Flowers: Maroon with white marbling, throat yellow, heart-shaped, 50-100 mm long. Flowers between February-May.

Fruit/seeds: Capsule - Brown capsules, sausage-shaped, 40-60 mm long, six-ribbed, like hanging baskets after dehiscence.

Does the plant have any uses?


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