Weed of the Week: Dutchman’s pipe

Name: Dutchman’s pipe

Scientific name: Aristolochia elegans

How to identify the weed: A fast growing vine up to 3m in length with tubular flowers shaped like a traditional Dutchman’s pipe.  Its flowers range from red to purple with white and yellow markings.  It has heart shaped, glossy green leaves. The vine has a woody stem that has the ability to coil around supporting structures.

Why is the weed a problem: This environmental weed is so similar to certain native plants, that it tricks butterflies into laying their eggs on its leaves. When the larvae hatch and begin to feed, this weed then poisons them. The local Richmond Birdwing butterfly is a threatened species due to this weed.

How to manage the weed: Manual removal and disposal of all plant material, including the crown and roots, is a very effective control method. Chemical treatment is also an effective control method. Eradicating this weed before the seeds set can help to reduce future infestations. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.

Interesting facts: This weed is a highly popular garden ornamental. If you have it in your garden, try replacing it with the native alternative, Pararistolochia praevenosa.

Dutchman's Pipe