On Aug 2, 2011, doctormrmd from Oakland, CA wrote:
I put two of these in the front of our house hoping they would climb the wrought iron fence and screen our porch. The first
summer (2009) they grew well and even bloomed repeatedly. The leaves have a glossy beautiful dark green color. The flowers are very
unique. Maroon colored at the tips, fading to cream at the base of the pipe with greens stripes. If you got real close to them, you could pick up a slight "off" smell-not really rotting flesh, and not obnoxious, just not your normal flower smell. I was very happy with them that first year. They lost most leaves that first winter and turned into a tangeled mass of bare woody vines. The following summer (2010) they came back, but less vigorous than before. Last winter almost did them in completely. It was unusually windy and cold (33 F). They are just hanging on this summer. If you live in a climate warmer than 9b I highly recommend them.
I'm just beginning to grow this plant (I've just rooted some cuttings), but I'm ranking it positive based on a friend's experience--he loves it. A month or so when I saw it it was blooming at every node and was amazing with it's unusual flowers and their long "tails". They're even longer than the ones currently in the nice pictures from Donna B. If you like weird plants and Aristolochias then this is a great one.
I think it's really unfortunate that 3 out of the 4 comments below (except for suncatcheracres) refer to a completely different plant. It's especially inappropriate that a negative rating has been given to a plant--apparently simply because it shares a genus name or common name.
It looks like the official entry is fine, although I think it might be at least slightly more cold hardy (we are in zone 9b). Perhaps this is a lesson not to assume that people who write here have correctly identified their own plants. I hate to rant, but I think it's necessary to correct misinformation like this.
Anyway, I felt I had to say something, otherwise people might be confused about whether to grow what seems to be a fantastic plant.
July 24, 2009: I've been growing this plant for a year and it is indeed incredible. One rooted cutting bloomed for me when it was still in a plastic cup.
It's also easy to root--single node cuttings root in about 2 weeks with bottom heat for me. Bottom heat may be crucial for such cuttings.
I love Dutchman's Pipe. The foliage is beautiful and the blooms, though inconspicuous, are very interesting. The best thing about it is the coverage. I grow it on a 6'X12' dog kennel (chain link fence). It provides both camouflage to make the kennel blend into the landscaping and shade for my dog.
Like other invasive plants (i.e., horsetail (Equisetum hyemale), Chinese Lantern Plant (Physalis alkekengi), and mints), I grow Dutchman’s Pipe in a container placed in the ground. This technique effectively controls the unwanted spread and, in the case of the horsetail and mints, helps retain additional moisture that the plants prefer.
On Aug 2, 2006, anniepettit from toronto Canada wrote:
I can't stand this plant! I'm in zone 6, and I have a variety of this plant that is totally invasive. I've been digging up huge roots that travel randomly for meters and meters. It does not seem to die no matter what. It covers absolutely everything.
On Jun 1, 2004, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:
When I was living in St. Petersburg, Florida, zone 9b, I had a friend who had an old house near downtown with a front porch across the front, and one end of her porch had a trellis which was just covered every summer with this vine. It was quite beautiful, and successfully provided some privacy from the nearby neighbor's porch.
Apparently this was a little out of it's zone, but this house was quite near the Tampa Bay, so perhaps that mitigated the temps, although I have seen it go down to 18 degrees in a harsh, sudden freeze in St. Pete--and then three days later go back up to 70, leaving months to look at the carcasses of brown, semi-tropical plants before you could cut them down in the Spring, because all of the plant people said not to cut the stems of frozen plants, because if you did water could get down to the roots and then rot would kill the plant.
I would love to grow this vine where I live now, in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, but it would have to be greenhoused here.
On Mar 14, 2003, Azalea from Jonesboro, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Another common name for this Plant is Calico Vine. There are at least two types. One has blooms 2-3 inches across, the other has larger blooms 6-7 inches across. The blooms are very interesting, flat on the surface, but a "Pipe" shaped formation on the back. The blooms are mottled maroon and tan on the only one I have seen. Cuttings seem difficult to root.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Oakland, California Petaluma, California Cape Coral, Florida Gulf Gate Estates, Florida Jacksonville, Florida St Petersburg, Florida Trinity, Florida Latimer, Mississippi Galveston, Texas San Antonio, Texas Spring, Texas Salisbury, Vermont