Aristolochia watsonii

Common Name: Watson's Dutchman's Pipe
Oˊodham Name: [Unknown]
Group: Forbs - Desert, Uplands, Riparian areas

Aristolochia watsonii is an annual vine that sprouts from am underground tap root. It grows in lightly shaded areas of sandy deserts, uplands, and riparian areas, at 2000 to 4000 feet elevation. In spring and late summer, it can be found twining around other vegetation for support. The leaves are green and brown, long, narrow, and arrow-shaped. Flowers are inconspicuous and have a large opening resembling a pipe. These form fruit that are elongated, round capsules with 4 lengthwise running ribs. The species contains the toxin aristolochic acid and is toxic. However, it is eaten by the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor). The caterpillars eat both the leaves and fruit.

Aristolochai watsonii
basal leaves
ripening fruit
Battus philenor

Kingdom Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Aristolochiales
Family Aristolochiaceae - Birthwort family
Genus Aristolocia L. - dutchman's pipe
Species Aristolochia watsonii Wooton & Standl. - Watson's dutchman's pipe
More Information
Distribution Maps: USDA
Article on Aristolochia watsonii and Pipefine Swallowtail
Paper on ecology of Battus philenor on Aristolochia watsonii
Video on Lifecycle of Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly

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