• WordNet 3.6
    • n Aristolochia birthworts; Dutchman's-pipe
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n aristolochia A large genus of apetalous exogenous plants, the type and principal genus of the natural order Aristolochiaceœ, chiefly woody climbers, and very widely distributed. There are about 180 species, of which 7 are found in the United States. They are remarkable for their curious flowers, which vary greatly in form and size, but are all so constructed as to imprison in some way the insects which visit them. The relative position of the anthers and stigmas prevents fertilization without the agency of insects, and self-fertilization even by their aid is, at least in some cases, made impossible by proterogyny. The flowers are usually of a dingy hue. A. Goldieana, of Calabar, has the largest that are yet known, the blade of which is nearly 2 feet in breadth. In A. Clematitis insects bringing pollen to the early matured stigma are imprisoned by impeding hairs which wither after the fresh pollen is shed. This and some other European species had formerly a reputation as emmenagogues and as facilitating parturition. Various species have had a popular reputation as remedies for snake-bites, as anthelmintics. etc., and the Virginia snake-root, or serpentary-root, A. Serpentaria, is employed as a stimulating tonic and diaphoretic. The pipe-vine, or Dutchman's-pipe. A. Sipho, a native of the Alleghanies, with very large cordate leaves, is cultivated as an ornamental climber.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Aristolochia ar-is-tō-lō′ki-a a genus of shrubs, many climbers, specially abundant in tropical South America.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr.; aristos, best, locheia, child-birth, the roots of several species being formerly thought useful in parturition.


In literature:

Thank you for the Aristolochia and Viscum cases: what species were they?
"More Letters of Charles Darwin" by Charles Darwin
This occurs in many species of Arum and Aristolochia.
"Darwinism (1889)" by Alfred Russel Wallace
At 7,800 feet, Aristolochia novum genus, Tritium glaucum, Thlaspi, Arabis cordata, Loranthus, Symplocos sessiliflora.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
Aristolochia, or Dutchman's Pipe, is a hardy vine of more than ordinary merit.
"Amateur Gardencraft" by Eben E. Rexford
Serpentaria virginiana, aristolochia serpentaria, guaiacum.
"Zoonomia, Vol. II" by Erasmus Darwin
The tubular flowers of Aristolochia offer a very similar case.
"The Beauties of Nature" by Sir John Lubbock
"The Practical Garden-Book" by C. E. Hunn