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Aristolochia watsonii

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Annual vine
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Partial shade
Pollinators Blood sucking flies!
Has Spines No
In relative feet, width by height
6-9" × 1-1.5'
Freeze Tolerant Yes
Flowering Season July-September
Flower Color Purple/yellow
Minimum Temperature Range 10 °F
Leaf Description Arrowhead shaped
Fruit A ribbed fruit filled with many flat black seeds
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Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 2000-4500 ft.
Description This oddball plant will not fill a trellis, or cover your fence, but it will attract caterpillars of the beautiful pipevine swallowtail butterfly. Leaves are arrowhead shaped and purple/green. Flowers are urn shaped with downward pointing hairs that trap wayward bloodsucking flies overnight, dousing them with pollen, and releasing them in the morning to stumble into another mouse-ear-like flower. Plants sprout from a small carrot shaped tuber and sprawl on the ground, rarely up into shrubs or trees. Once plants are established they can reseed, and almost certainly will attract the unmistakable red and black caterpillars of the pipevine swallowtail. Plant in sandy, well draining soils to ensure the tuber doesn't rot during winter dormancy.