Description: Climbers, [shrubs or perennial herbs].
Leaves alternate, simple, mostly entire, stipules absent.
Flowers solitary or in racemes. Flowers mostly strongly zygomorphic, bisexual. Calyx usually tubular, petaloid. Petals generally absent. Stamens 4–many, most commonly 6 or 12, free or fused to the base of the style, the filaments and style forming a column. Ovary usually inferior, 4–6-locular, stigma short with 4–several lobes; placentation axile or parietal, ovules numerous in each loculus.
Fruit mostly a capsule, [rarely a berry].
Distribution and occurrence: World: 12 genera, c. 475 species, mainly tropical, also temperate regions. Australia: 2 genera, 13 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Aristolochiaceae, Order: Piperales)
following recent research many species (including Australian taxa) are segregated into the genus Pararistolochia.
Several species of Aristolochia (Dutchman's Pipe) have the tubular calyx variously bent and coloured and are grown as ornamental vines.
Text by G. J. Harden
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Fruit dehiscent, short; perianth irregular with a single lobe (long lip) , or 2-lipped with a broad standard and long keel; stigmatic lobes up to 6; anthers up to 6; flowers borne on leafy shoots||Aristolochia|
|Fruit indehiscent, elongate, strongly ribbed; perianth regularly 3-lobed or irregular with 1 or 3 long tails from the mouth of the limb; stigmatic lobes 6–12; anthers 6–24; flowers mostly on the old wood||Pararistolochia|