June 2009
Home Grown Tomatoes

Dutchman’s Pipe and the Swallowtails

Dutchman’s Pipe and The Swallowtails sounds like a 1960s doo-wop band, doesn’t it? Maybe so, but in nature, these plants and bugs make beautiful music together!


A couple of Battus philenor with voracious appetites and a pretty cool display of colors on their backs as well.


Dutchman’s pipe, (Aristolochia elegans {Synonym: Aristolochia littoralis}) is actually a deciduous vine occurring in the wild and hardy in zones 9-11. It is the primary source of food for the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly larvae (Battus philenor).

The Dutchman’s pipe is considered to be somewhat invasive by promoters of attempted perfection of landscapes and non-native plants. But, if kept manicured and controlled, it will make a beautiful addition to your garden.

Though the Dutchman’s pipe may seem plain and monochromatic to the average sightseer, it makes for a beautiful show with occasional blooms during the spring, summer and early fall. It is usually cultivated for its foliage, but the blooms are quite spectacular as well.

Make this plant a must for your butterfly garden as it is a major food source for lots of species of butterfly and moth caterpillars.

Next month we’ll take a look at other garden delights that can be planted to attract colorful creatures and help Mother Nature feed her little ones.


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if you want further information on Aristolochia or Battus.

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