Clematis virginiana virgin’s bower Ranunculaceae CLVI; Bx, pb (DeCandido 2001); R (DeCandido 2001); 

Clematis virginiana.Donald Cameron.New England Wild Flower

Clematis virginiana. Copyright © 2014 Donald Cameron.New England Wild Flower (Accessed 5/2014).

Clematis virginiana is a scarcely woody vine to 3 m long, stems slender, 6-12 angled, bark pale brown, shredding, nodes enlarged often with a line between leaf scars (Harlow 1946), spring growth begins early April (Britton 1874).

Leaves opposite, stalk to 10 cm long, blade mostly 3-parted, leaflets stalked, blades 2-10 cm long, 1-6 cm wide, egg-shaped, tip sharply pointed, margins coarsely toothed or lobed; leaves expand mid-May (Britton 1874).

Flowers white, radially symmetrical, all parts free, no petals, sepals 4, to 1.5 cm long, hairy, at least on back, stamens conspicuous; blooming  July-Sept.; inflorescence of dense, branched clusters, on stalks to 6 cm long.

Fruit dry 1-seeded achenes with persistent, elongate, hairy style forming a plume.

Wetland status: FAC.

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.

 Origin: Native.

Habitat: Moist soil of edges, low vegetation or scrub, soil pH 5-6.5, moderately tolerant of shade, drought, fire, in tolerant of anaerobic soil, salt (USDA, NRCS 2006).