Aristolochia ringens, also named the Gaping Dutchman's Pipe, is an evergreen vine from the tropical regions of South America. It can reach 2 to 10 meters tall. This rugged robust vine also does well in containers with regular watering. The flowers give a flare of the bizarre to a tropical collection.
From spring to summer, the vine produces quantities of 12 cm long fragrant flowers scattered among the drooping leaves. The flowers trap insect pollinators and facilitate cross pollination. Highly entertaining flowers; a vigorous grower, the outrageous blooms are patterned with a network of burgundy, red, and purple over a creamy-yellow background. The fruit is a capsule, green maturing to brown and opening to release many fertile seeds. Prune back shoots after flowering.
Aristolochia ringens is a vine with beautiful dark green heart shaped leaves and paler underneath. These are about 8 cm long by 5 cm wide and grow closely together to create a dense mass of foliage. These slender woody stems twine gracefully in tight coils around fence wire and other supports lifting itself to heights of 2 to 10 meters. Stems age to woody.
Hardiness zones 8-10, (-10øC/15øF,1øC/35øF) in winter. In zone 8, the tops will be killed to the ground in freezing weather but usually return in the spring. Aristolochia ringens likes to grow in a light and airy place, but not in direct sunlight. Keep summer temperatures from 20-25øC and winter temperatures above 10øC.
Water once or twice a week during growth period. Water no more than once a week during winter. The plant can endure short periods of drought and still look fresh. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every third watering throughout the growing season. It grows best in rich, well-drained soil. It requires only average soil to look good. The plant does well in light sandy soils.