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Genus: Aristolochia (pipevines, Dutchman's pipes)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > magnoliids > Order: Piperales > Family: Aristolochiaceae

Over 500 species, found worldwide except Australia and concentrated mainly in the tropics. Three species are native to southern Africa, one is naturalised, and a further seven species are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

Information from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe, Flora of Mozambique and African Flowering Plants Database.

Aristolochia albida

Widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa from West Africa across to the Sudan and extending as far south as Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Aristolochia heppii

Recorded from Zambia and Zimbabwe. Possibly a subspecies of Aristolochia hockii.

Aristolochia hockii

Native distribution includes Tanzania, southern DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Species naturalised in southern Africa

Information from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI) and Flora of Zimbabwe.

Aristolochia elegans (Calico flower, Dutchman's pipe)

[= Aristolochia littoralis]

Native to tropical South America. Within southern Africa it has become naturalised in Zimbabwe and South Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal).

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Aristolochia grandiflora

Native to Central America and the West Indies.


Aristolochia labiata

Native to Brazil.


Aristolochia macrophylla

Native to the eastern USA.


Aristolochia ridicula

Native to Brazil.


Aristolochia sempervirens

Native to Greece and Italy.


Aristolochia tomentosa

Native to southeastern USA.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

  • Verdcourt, B. 1986. Aristolochiaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa: 111.

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