ARISTOLOCHIA , a genus of shrubs or herbs of the natural order Aristolochiaceae, often with climbing stems, found chiefly in the tropics. The flower forms a tube inflated at the base. A. Clematitis, birthwort, is a central and southern European species, found sometimes in England apparently wild on ruins and similar places, but not a native. A. Sipho, Dutchman's pipe, or pipe vine, is a climber, native in the woods of the Atlantic United States, and grown in Europe as a garden plant. The flower is bent like a pipe.
A member of the same order is the asarabacca (Asarum europaeum), a small creeping herb with kidney-shaped leaves and small purplish bell-shaped flowers. It is a native of the woods of Europe and north temperate Asia, and occurs wild in some English counties. It was formerly grown for medicinal purposes, the underground stem having cathartic and emetic properties. An allied species, A. canadense, is the Canadian snake-root, a native of Canada and the Atlantic United States.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)