Aristolochia is a large genus in the Aristolochiaceae family. Many members contain aristolochic acid which was once thought to be therapeutic and is now recognised as highly toxic. Some species from dry climates, such as A. chilensis and A. cretica, are geophytes with tubers and an annual dormant period.
Aristolochia chilensis is from Atacama desert south to the central region of Chile. Photograph by Eugene Zielinski taken in Spring 2011 between Huasco and Carrizalillo. This species trails along the ground, producing nicely marked leaves and interesting flowers, reflecting the common names of the genus, "Dutchman's pipe" and "pipe vine". It would be an appropriate garden plant in mild Mediterranean climates because it doesn't get very big or run underground. It is interesting because it comes in two flower color forms, one coastal and one inland.
Aristolochia guichardii is a species from SW Turkey and the Eastern Greek Islands, growing in rocky situations and pine forests at low elevations. Photos taken in its habitat in Antalya province, SW Turkey by Oron Peri.
Aristolochia hirta has a large, deep colored flower with noticeable white hairs. This species is growing in the Eastern Aegean islands and SW Turkey, blooming in March-April. Photos were taken in Antalya province, SW Turkey by Oron Peri.
Aristolochia lycica A lovely species with many maculated flowers. Growing in rocky places, often in Mediterranean scrub clearings at low elevations. It is endemic to Turkey. Flowering From Mid March to early May. Photo was taken in Antalya Province by Oron Peri.
Aristolochia parvifolia is a relatively common species in the E. Mediterranean, and the smallest. Growing in rock crevices or pockets in open fields, or Mediterranean scrub, it has a long flowering season: December to May. Photo was taken in the Island of Rhodes by Oron Peri.