Clematis virginiana L.

Clematis virginiana plant

Family - Ranunculaceae

Stems - Sprawling and climbing, sparse to moderately pubescent, herbaceous to woody, purplish, carinate, very long.

Leaves - Opposite, 3-5 foliate, petiolate. Leaflets lobed and/or coarse serrate, typically ovate to lanceolate, sparse pubescent to glabrous, sericeous below, +/-6cm long, +/-3cm broad. Petiolules to 1cm long or sometimes absent on upper pair of lateral leaflets. Petioles pubescent and purplish.

Clematis virginiana leaves

Inflorescence - Fairly dense axillary panicles. Each division of panicle subtended by pair of small foliaceous bracts. Peduncles and pedicels pubescent.

Flowers - Fragrant. Plants dioecious. Petals absent. Petaloid sepals 4, white, to 1.2cm long, +/-4mm broad, pubescent. Stamens erect to spreading, +/-25. Filaments to 8mm long, white, glabrous. Anthers pale yellow, 1.2mm long. Pistillate flowers with sterile stamens. Pistils many (6-10). Achenes sericeous, to -5mm long. Styles plumose, to +3cm long.

Clematis virginiana flowers

Flowering - July - September.

Habitat - Moist and low ground of woodlands, moist slopes, streambanks, fence rows.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species is the only native pure white flowered Clematis in Missouri. The similar C. dioscoreifolia Levl. & Vanoit is native to Japan, has larger flowers, and has leaflets which are entire and typically unlobed.
The flower close-ups shown are of staminate flowers.

Photographs taken off Hwy 106, Shannon County, MO., 7-27-04.