Clematis virginiana


Cent. Pl. I, 15. 1755.

Common names: Virgin's-bower clématite de Virginie
Synonyms: Clematis canadensis Miller Clematis holosericea Pursh Clematis missouriensis Rydberg Clematis virginiana var. missouriensis (Rydberg) E. J. Palmer & Steyermark
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 3.

Stems climbing, 2-7 m. Leaf blade 3-foliolate; leaflets ovate to lanceolate, 3.5-9 × 1.5-7.5 cm, margins coarsely toothed to entire; surfaces abaxially sparsely to densely pilose, adaxially glabrate. Inflorescences axillary, 3-many-flowered simple or compound cymes. Flowers unisexual; pedicel slender, 1-2 cm; sepals wide-spreading, not recurved, white to cream, elliptic or nearly oblong to oblanceolate, 6-14 mm, abaxially densely white-hairy, adaxially sparsely white-hairy; stamens ca. 30-50+; filaments glabrous; staminodes absent or fewer than stamens; pistils 40-70; beak nearly equaling sepals. Achenes ovate, 2.5-3.5 × l.5 mm, conspicously rimmed, sparsely short-hairy; beak 2.5-5 cm. 2n = 16.

Phenology: Flowering summer (Jun–Sep).
Habitat: Streamsides, wet roadsides, fencerows, and other moist, disturbed, wooded or open sites, locally abundant
Elevation: 0-1500 m


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Man., N.B., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.


Clematis virginiana is the most frequent and widespread virgin's-bower in eastern North America. It is easily distinguished from C. catesbyana by the presence of three ovate leaflets.

Native Americans used infusions prepared from the roots of Clematis virginiana medicinally to treat kidney ailments, and mixed them with milkweed to heal backaches and venereal sores. Decoctions of stems were ingested to induce strange dreams. In addition, the plant was used as an ingredient in green corn medicine (D. E. Moerman 1986).

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Clematis virginiana"
James S. Pringle +
Linnaeus +
Virgin's-bower +  and clématite de Virginie +
Man. +, N.B. +, N.S. +, Ont. +, P.E.I. +, Que. +, Ala. +, Ark. +, Conn. +, Del. +, Fla. +, Ga. +, Ill. +, Ind. +, Iowa +, Kans. +, Ky. +, La. +, Maine +, Md. +, Mass. +, Mich. +, Minn. +, Miss. +, Mo. +, Nebr. +, N.H. +, N.J. +, N.Y. +, N.C. +, N.Dak. +, Ohio +, Okla. +, Pa. +, R.I. +, S.C. +, S.Dak. +, Tenn. +, Tex. +, Vt. +, Va. +, W.Va. +  and Wis. +
0-1500 m +
Streamsides, wet roadsides, fencerows, and other moist, disturbed, wooded or open sites, locally abundant +
Flowering summer (Jun–Sep). +
Cent. Pl. I, +
Clematis canadensis +, Clematis holosericea +, Clematis missouriensis +  and Clematis virginiana var. missouriensis +
Clematis virginiana +
Clematis subg. Clematis +
species +