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Climber Wall Shrub

Aristolochia sempervirens

birthwort

An evergreen woody climber with glossy, elongated heart-shaped leaves. The flowers, up to 4cm in length, are tubular and curved. Their interior is golden and hairy with a dark red lip and paler, red-veined exterior. It flowers for a long period from early spring through summer. Pollination is achieved by temporarily trapping small insects. May reach 5m in height

Synonyms
Aristolochia altissima
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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Gold Yellow Green
Summer Red Gold Yellow Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Aristolochiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Climbing
Genus

Aristolochia can be shrubs or herbaceous perennials, many climbing, usually with heart-shaped or ovate leaves. Distinctive flowers have an S-shaped calyx tube and no petals, and are may be white, yellow, brown or maroon, often mottled

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Europe

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How to grow

Cultivation

Will grow in thin chalky conditions and is drought tolerant. Requires sun or semi-shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed in spring or propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Patio and container plants
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

May be cut back to 2 or 3 nodes in spring if necessary

Pests

Generally trouble-free

Diseases

Generally trouble-free

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