Aristolochia californica

California Pipevine


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Northern California endemic representative of the incredible pipevine genus. For those with an interest in evolutionary life history, or who love to bore their friends with biology fun facts there is a lot to love here. The pairing of distinct pipe-shaped flowers and musty odor may be an example of plant life imitating human life, but scientists instead tend to think it has something more to do with attracting fly pollinators through deception, with the confounding curves ensuring enough time spent to ensure a pollen packet pickup. Then there's the fact that this plant provides the sole food source for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly, whose caterpillars use the ingested toxin of the leaves as a defense mechanism. For the less trivia inclined, the elegantly arrowhead shaped leaves and intriguing purple and beige striped flowers are sure to be reward enough.


Plant Type

  • Vine

Mature Size

Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 7a (0 °F)
  • Zone 7b (5 °F)
  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)
  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)
  • Zone 10 (30 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Shade
  • Part Shade - Part Sun

Water Needs

  • Moist

Bloom Time

  • Spring
  • Summer