The vine is endemic to northern California.
It is native to the Sacramento Valley, northern Sierra Nevada foothills, San Francisco Bay Area, Northern Inner California Coast Ranges, southeastern Klamath Mountains.
The plant grows along riparian streambank areas, in chaparral, oak woodland, and mixed evergreen forest habitats.
It is found below 700 metres (2,300 ft) in elevation.
Aristolochia californica is a deciduous vine.
length usually around 5 feet (1.5 m), but can reach over 20 feet (6.1 m).
It sends out new green heart-shaped leaves after it blooms. The bloom period is January through April.
The plant produces large green to pale brown curving pipe-shaped flowers, with purple veins and a yellow to red lining.
The U shaped flowers produce winged capsular green fruits.