Aristolochia serpentaria L.

Aristolochia serpentaria plant

Family - Aristolochiaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Leaves - No info. yet.

Aristolochia serpentaria leaf

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Flowers - No info. yet.

Aristolochia serpentaria flower

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Rich or rocky woods, thickets, ravines, slopes.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This small species can be found throughout most of Missouri but is apparently absent from the northwest corner of the state. The plant is often overlooked because it grows low to the ground and the flowers are rarely seen. Careful removal of the leaf litter around the base of the plant will reveal the interesting flowers.
Traditionally this species was used to treat fevers, stomach problems, sore throat, and snakebites. The plant can be irritating if used in too large of a dose. At one time the plant was widely collected but it will grow in cultivation and should be left alone in the wild.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 5-18-02.