Clematis virginiana L.
Clematis virginiana L. var. missouriensis (Rydb.) Palmer & Steyerm.
Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles
Wild clematis is a North American native vine. It is a member of the buttercup family.
Identification: This vine grows to 12-15' (3.7-4.6 m), climbing with the aid of twisted stems. Its leaf clusters are in groups of three, making it somewhat similar in appearance to poison ivy, but its leaf clusters are opposite to each other, while poison ivy’s are alternate. Showy flower clusters are composed of fragrant white or cream flowers up to 1" (2.5 cm) across, with five petals. The flowers become soft, silky seeds, a distinctive characteristic.Similar species:
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|Plant||Vine 12-15' (3.7-4.6 m) long.||A low plant, a bush, a vine on the ground, or a vine that climbs trees.|
|Flowers||Showy white or cream clusters, each flower about 1" (2.5 cm) across, with five petals and many stamens.||Small, yellowish-green, inconspicuous.|
|Leaves||In clusters of three; clusters are opposite to each other, not alternating.||In groups of tree, shiny when young, alternating.|
|Seeds||Soft, silky fluffs.|
|Fruit||Small greenish-white berries.|
USDA Zones: 3-8
|Habitats||Low, moist woods; thickets; stream banks||Disturbed areas, roadsides, waste areas|
Edibility: Poisonous All parts of this plant are poisonous. Causes severe mouth pain and mouth ulcers if eaten; also a skin irritant.
Medical: Some native Americans used extracts from wild clematis for various ailments.
Clematis virginiana on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource
Clematis virginiana at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Clematis virginiana on www.carolinanature.com
Clematis virginiana on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site
Clematis virginiana on Missouriplants.com
Clematis virginiana at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium
Clematis virginiana at Minnesota Wildflowers
Clematis virginiana at Illinois Wildflowers
Clematis virginiana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 2 Jan 2019.
Range: Zones 3-8: