Aristolochia elegans, also named Aristolochia littoralis, the Duthman's Pipe and Calico Flower, is an evergreen vine from the tropical regions of Brazil. It can reach 15-25 feet tall. This rugged robust vine also does well in containers with regular watering.
In Summer the vine produces quantities of 3 inches fragrant flowers scattered among the drooping leaves. The flowers trap insect pollinators and facilitate cross pollination. Highly entertaining flowers; the rounded kidney-shaped heads are brown with white markings and veins. The inner portion surface of the mouth is covered with a purplish-brown pattern that is reminiscent of calico fabric which inspire this species common name Calico Flower. Fruit a capsule, green maturing to brown and opening to release many fertile seeds. Prune back shoots after flowering.
Aristolochia elegans is a vine with beautiful bright green heart shaped leaves and paler underneath. These are about 3 inches long by 2 inches wide and grow closely together to create a dense mass of foliage. This slender woody stems twine gracefully in tight coils around fence wire and other supports lifting itself to heights of 15-25 feet. 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 elegans likes to grow in a light and airy place, but not in direct sunlight. Keep Summer temperatures from 68-78øF and Winter temperatures above 50øF. Water regularly during the growth period, once or twice a week. Water no more than once a week during Winter. Will 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. Requires only average soil to look good. Does well in light sandy soils.