Aristolochia serpentaria L.
VIRGINIA SNAKEROOT
  Dicotyledoneae   Aristolochiaceae   Aristolochia

Aristolochia serpentaria, leaf and flower
© Kay Yatskievych, 2003 · 1
Aristolochia serpentaria, leaf and flower

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Aristolochia serpentaria
© Copyright Michael Strickland, 2008 · 1
Aristolochia serpentaria

Aristolochia serpentaria
© Copyright Michael Strickland, 2008 · 1
Aristolochia serpentaria

Aristolochia serpentaria
© Copyright Michael Strickland, 2008 · 1
Aristolochia serpentaria

Aristolochia serpentaria
© Copyright Michael Strickland, 2008 · 1
Aristolochia serpentaria

Aristolochia serpentaria
© Copyright Michael Strickland, 2008 · 1
Aristolochia serpentaria
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Aristolochia serpentaria L.
Virginia snakeroot

Image of Aristolochia serpentaria

General Information
Symbol: ARSE3
Group: Dicot
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : L48   N
Data Source and Documentation
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image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   

Images

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©Jeff McMillian. Provided by Almost Eden . United States, LA. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. August 13, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. August 13, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. August 13, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. August 13, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. July 24, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. July 24, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 4, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 4, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 4, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 4, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 4, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 4, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 4, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. August 10, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. August 10, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. August 10, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. August 10, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. September 28, 2011. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 11, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 11, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 11, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 11, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 11, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 28, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Doug Goldman. Provided by USDA NRCS National Plants Data Team (NPDT) . United States, NC, Guilford Co., Greensboro. May 28, 2012. Usage Requirements .

Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 645. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society . Scanned by Omnitek Inc . Usage Requirements .

slideshow

Synonyms

Symbol Scientific Name Other Common Names
ARCO20 Aristolochia convolvulacea Small
ARHA4 Aristolochia hastata Nutt.
ARNA2 Aristolochia nashii Kearney
ARSEH Aristolochia serpentaria L. var. hastata (Nutt.) Duch.
ARSEN Aristolochia serpentaria L. var. nashii (Kearney) H.E. Ahles
ENSE4 Endodeca serpentaria (L.) Raf. Virginia-Snakeroot
ENSEH Endodeca serpentaria (L.) Raf. var. hastata (Nutt.) C.F. Reed

Classification

Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Aristolochiales
Family Aristolochiaceae – Birthwort family
Genus Aristolochia L. – dutchman's pipe
Species Aristolochia serpentaria L. – Virginia snakeroot

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Threatened and Endangered Information:
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete protected plant list for that location.
Connecticut Virginia snakeroot Threatened
Illinois Aristolochia serpentaria var. hastata
narrow-leaved snakeroot Threatened
Iowa Virginia snakeroot Threatened
Michigan Virginia snakeroot Threatened
New York Virginia snakeroot Endangered

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Synonyms

ENSE4   Endodeca serpentaria (L.) Raf.

North America
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain FACU
Eastern Mountains and Piedmont UPL
Great Plains FACU
Midwest UPL
Northcentral & Northeast UPL

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (ARSE3)
Flora of North America (ARSE3)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ARCO20)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ARHA4)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ARNA2)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ARSE3)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ARSEH)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ARSEN)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ENSEH)
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (ARSE3)
Native American Ethnobotany (University of Michigan - Dearborn) (ARSE3)
USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (ARSE3)
University of Tennessee Herbarium (Distribution) (ARSE3)

Wildlife

Food

Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Cover

Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover


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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Aristolochiaceae | Aristolochia

2. Aristolochia serpentaria Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 961. 1753.

Virginia snakeroot

Aristolochia convolvulacea Small; A . hastata Nuttall; A . nashii Kearney; A . serpentaria var. hastata (Nuttall) Duchartre

Herbs , erect to decumbent, to 0.6 m. Young stem ridged, glabrous to hispid. Leaves: petiole 0.5-3.5 cm. Leaf blade lanceolate to ovate, 5-15 × 1-5 cm, base truncate to cordate, sinus depth 0-1.5 cm, apex acute to acuminate; surfaces abaxially glabrous or hispid; venation pinnate. Inflorescences from base of stem, an additional flower in axil of stem leaf, racemes; peduncle bracteolate, to 1.5 cm; bracteoles lanceolate, to 3 mm. Flowers: calyx brown-purple, bent; utricle pendent, pear-shaped to ovoid, 0.5-5 cm; syrinx present, ringlike, 1 mm, oblique; tube bent, cylindric, 1 cm; annulus smooth; limb purplish brown, 3-lobed, lobes 0.5 × 0.5 cm, glabrous; gynostemium 3-lobed, globose to crown-shaped, 1.5 mm; anthers 6; ovary 3-locular, to 1.5 cm. Capsule globose, 0.8-2 × 1-2 cm, dehiscence basipetal; valves 6; septa absent. Seeds rounded, ovate, 0.5 × 0.4 cm. 2 n = 28.

Flowering late spring-summer. Mesic forests; 50-1300 m; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.

Inflorescences of Aristolochia serpentaria often bear closed flowers that appear to be cleistogamous. Leaf shape varies greatly between populations, especially with regard to leaf width and size of basal lobes. This variability is especially interesting because eastern pipe-vine swallowtail butterflies, Battus philenor philenor (Linnaeus), use leaf shape as a search image when looking for Aristolochia leaves on which to lay their eggs.

The dried rhizome, called Virginia snakeroot or serpentary, is a popular herbal tonic. In small doses, it is a gastric stimulant and diuretic. Large doses can cause violent gastric distress and respiratory paralysis (J. A. Duke 1985). The rhizome contains aristolochic acid and trimethyl amine, both potential carcinogens.

Several Native American tribes used Aristolochia serpentaria for diverse medicinal purposes, including treatment of rheumatism, various pains, obstructions, worms, toothaches, sore throats, fever, sore noses, and colds, as a tonic, and mixed with saliva for snake bites (D. E. Moerman 1986).

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Updated: 2019-11-18 08:40:34 gmt
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