Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Clematis virginiana L.
- Family: Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: The distinguishing features of this vine are its many white flowers in panicles
cymes and its leaves divided into 3 coarsely toothed or lobed leaflets.
- Habitat: Roadsides, fencerows, wet thickets, bottomlands, low woods, along streams.
- Habit: Perennial vine climbing or scrambling over vegetation.
- Stems: Slender, climbing, smooth or hairy, angular, several to many feet long.
- Leaves: Opposite, compound, usually with 3 leaflets; leaflets ovate, pointed at the tip, usually
heart-shaped at the base, coarsely toothed or shallowly lobed, rarely without teeth or lobes,
usually smooth, up to 4 inches long, up to 2 1/2 inches wide.
- Flowers: Several to many in panicles or cymes; male and female flowers borne separately on
- Sepals: 4, white, petal-like, free from each other, oblong, tapering to a pointed tip, silky-hairy,
about 1/2 inch long.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: Numerous.
- Pistils: Numerous; ovaries superior.
- Fruits: Achenes ellipsoid to obovoid, brownish, up to 1/4 inch long; styles persistent, plumose-hairy, up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Notes: When in fruit, this plant has a cottony appearance because of the persistent, plumose
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