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Dutchman's Pipe

The Aristoloche, commonly known as 'Dutchman's Pipe,' is one of the most important facade plants -- a twining climber much appreciated for its remarkably lush, large, heart-shaped leaves. It is ideal for high vertical greening as well as for large metal walls/structures, and is also known for its ability to easily hide downpipes and lightning conductors! Apart from regular watering, it is fairly low-maintenance, and pruning is basically unnecessary. We sell two species: (A) is especially good for facades and (B) is better for pergolas and other similar structures.

>>> Price A / Price B

Aristolochia durior (macrophylla) and Aristolochia tomentosa

Aristolochia macrophylla durior
Aristolochia macrophylla durior

To thrive...

Pipe vine needs a sunny (full sun) to slightly shaded position, protected from wind, and nutrient-rich soil, fresh and moist with regular water provision (especially in sunny positions) to compensate for the high evaporation rate. These plants tolerate nearly everything, as long as they are watered regularly. Fertilising is beneficial. The small-leaved aristolochia (aristolochia tomentosa / 'woolly Dutchman's pipe') is hardier and requires less attention. Distance between plants: 1 - 2.5 m

  • For all facades: "Aristolochia tomentosa"  - Price A

  • Large-leaves for pergolas etc: "Aristolochia macrophylla" -  Price B

Characteristics and Pruning

A twining climber, this plant forms thick leaf walls or canopies, but can also cascade down like a bridal train. A. macrophylla can develop extremely large leaves, A. tomentosa is generally smaller-leafed. Initially, the plant uses its energy mainly for growing new leaves, so yearly new shoots are rather sparse, especially during the first few years. Foliage from May to November. Doesn't look “straggly” in winter, as the sparse new shoots keep their decorative light green colour. The older perennial shoots are light grey. Not susceptible to fungal diseases! Dutchman's pipe won its name to its oddly-shaped purplish / yellow-green flowers that resemble an old-fashioned smoker's pipe; they appear in June / July, with cucumber- or capsule-like fruit. Prune and thin out every 1-3 years.

Climbing Aids for the Facade

Akebias love vertically-oriented climbing aids, with cables that are approx. 30-40 cm apart. Shoots have to be bound by hand on horizontal axes. See below for suitable systems. Choose medium, or preferably heavy / massive cable trellis systems; with potted plants, an easy kit may suffice.


Suitable wire rope systems?

Please click the icon to see the full suitability chart

Greening with Dutchman's Pipe "Aristolochia tomentosa" in an inner courtyard
American Dutchman's Pipe "Aristolochia macrophylla" led along a balcony post
Large-leafed pipevine greening a courtyard
American pipevine (Aristolochia durior) on two vertical wire ropes

Greening Buildings

See examples here of facade greening with Dutchman's pipe...

Aristolochia macrophylla
Dutchman's pipe on a stainless steel trellis, wire rope system 4040
Aristolochia tomentosa on 3 vertical wire ropes
High vertical trellis cables on a prefab apartment complex
Large-leafed Aristolochia macrophylla
Dutchman's pipe A. macrophylla on 3 parallel wire ropes
Aristolochia macrophylla
A. macrophylla on tensioned wire ropes
Dutchman's pipe on wooden cladding
Dutschman's pipe
American pipevine
Aristolochia macrophylla durior
Aristolochia macrophylla
Aristolochia macrophylla
Aristolochia macrophylla
Aristolochia macrophylla on wire ropes
Aristolochia macrophylla
Aristolochia macrophylla
Greening of a hospital with Aristolochia tomentosa
Greening a wall with Aristolochia moupinensis on a trellis
Hiding a drainpipe with Dutchman's pipe
A lightening rod greened with Dutchman's pipe
A lightening rod with Dutchman's pipe (18 m)
Aristolochia macrophylla (20 m), Leipzig / Saxony

Greening Objects with Dutchman's Pipe

With Dutchman's pipe, you can green balconies, pergolas, pillars, free-standing poles/masts and fences...

House entrance with Aristolochia macrophylla durior
Thanks to the large-leaves A. macrophylla can be used for creating privacy screens
A green arbour with A. macrophylla
Green porch with Dutchman's pipe
Metal grid system, Aristolochia durior
Walls can be easily greened with this plant
Green pergola with Dutchman's pipe A. macrophylla
Green roof over a rubbish site
Greened fire escape staircase with small-leafed Aristolochia
Small greenery in a shady garden
Dutchman's pipe loves vertical wire ropes, as all twiners do
House entrance with green pergola
Dutchman's pipe on a trellis

Botanical Features

Here you can see the Dutchman's pipe's leaves, fruits, blossoms, autumn-colouring, phenotype in winter, and budding in spring. *Both types --  Aristolochia durior (macrophylla) and Aristolochia tomentosa -- are presented here for comparison.

Leaves of Aristolochia macrophylla durior
Leaves of an Aristolochia tomentosa
Comparison of A. tomentosa and A. macrophylla with early autumn coloring
Differentiation of 2 different pipevines on the basis of hairiness: A. macrophylla on the left side (always hairless) and A. tomentosa on the right (with hair)
Blossoms of A. macrophylla
Blossoms of A. tomentosa (Isotrema tomentosa)
Wire rope with Dutchman's pipe in autumn
A. macrophylla in autumn
Pipevine in winter
Capsular fruit of A. macrophylla
Typical growth of a twiner, budding in spring
Proliferation with new young leaves in spring

Suitable wire rope systems for Dutchman's Pipe

Please click on a graphic to call up its trellis profile!

  suitable               = of limited suitability               = unsuitable