Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Aristolochia tomentosa Sims
- Family: Birthwort (Aristolochiaceae)
- Flowering: May-June
- Field Marks: This climbing vine is distinguished by its softly hairy, heart-shaped leaves, its
curved flowers, and its short, thick fruits that bear layers of flattened seeds.
- Habitat: In shaded woodlands, along streams, bottomlands, slopes, and into moist upland sites.
- Habit: Perennial high-climbing vine with thickened rootstocks.
- Stems: Twining, densely hairy, up to 75 feet long.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, broadly ovate, pointed at the tip, heart-shaped at the base, without
teeth, densely soft-hairy, up to 8 inches long, up to 6 inches wide; leaf stalks densely hairy, up
to 3 inches long.
- Flowers: Usually solitary or paired in the axils of the leaves, very asymmetrical.
- Sepals: 3, deep purple, united to form a hairy, curved, yellow-green tube up to 1 1/2 inches
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 6.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Capsules oblong-cylindric, up to 4 inches long, with numerous flat, triangular seeds
arranged in layers; seeds up to 1/2 inch long.
- Notes: The aromatic rootstock can be used for seasoning.
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