Aristolochia Species, European Birthwort

Aristolochia clematitis

Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Aristolochia (a-ris-toh-LOH-kee-uh) (Info)
Species: clematitis (klem-MAT-ty-tiss) (Info)
Synonym:Aristolochia infesta
Synonym:Aristolochia longa
Synonym:Aristolochia tenuis



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 25, 2015, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

A strange looking plant. But you may want it even if you are not that into the "weird" (I am), because it is a preferred food source of the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly. It's said to attract them. Arrowhead Alpines, who sell the plant, note, "One of the high points of last summer was sitting around talking ferns with Dr. Storer, only to have him spot a 5th instar Papilio (Battus) philenor larva come crawling by, an event so unlikely that at first I thought it a joke. I've collected for years and never seen it in this part of Michigan; I figured Herb Wagner must have given him a larva or something. When I went to the garden to find it something to munch on there they were, 1.5 purple black, with magnificent fleshy tentacles like something out of the rainforest, devouring my Aristolochia ... read more


On Jun 18, 2004, _C4_Monk from The Colony, TX wrote:

Propagation Notes: Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Pre-soak stored seed for 48 hours in hand-hot water and surface sow in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 20c. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn. Root cuttings in winter.


On Nov 22, 2001, Baa wrote:

A creeping, perennial plant from Southern Europe but widely naturalised in Europe.

Has broad, heart shaped, mid green, entire (untoothed) leaves upto 6 inches long on erect stems. Bears yellow, tubular with a long flap at the tip flowers which are held in the leaf axils usually 4-8 flowers in each axil.

The whole plant stinks. Sap may irritate skin.

Flowers June-September.

Likes a well drained, fertile soil in sun or partial shade. Dislikes winter wet soil. Creeps by rhizomes where happy.

Its English common name stems from the middle ages when it was used to help birthing contrations. It has also been used in a variety of other herbal concotions but is poisonous and not recommened at all.

Part of t... read more