Aristolochiaceae / Birthwort
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Medical Uses: Pipevine is considered to have similar though weaker effects than Virginia Snakeroot (A. Serpentaria). The root is used, in very small doses, as a tea or chewed for digestive disorders, fevers, to promote sweating, treat suppressed menses and increase appetite.(Foster & Duke) The Cherokee used a decoction of the root externally for swelling of the feet and legs and a tea from the stalks was taken for "yellowish urine".(Hamel/Chiltoskey) A. Macrophylla contains aristolochic acid which is antiseptic and antitumor. Warning: Some sources consider this plant toxic and carcinogenic.
Similar Species: Another species know as Pipevine AKA Woolly Dutchman's Pipe (A. Tomentosa) is a
vine with downy branches found at lower elevations from Florida to North Carolina west as far as Texas and Kansas and
north in very scattered locations as far as Wisconsin and Vermont. Marsh's Dutchman's Pipe (A. pentandra) is a
vine with nearly straight flowers that grows in the hammocks and keys or south Florida. Virginia Snakeroot (A.
serpentaria) is a herbacious plant that can reach 60cm (2') in height. A. convolvulacea is similar to Virginia
Snakeroot differing mainly in being hairy.
Several other species are recognized and some may be found in our area.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves