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Clematis virginiana

Clematis virginiana L.

Clematis virginiana L. var. missouriensis (Rydb.) Palmer & Steyerm.

Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassMagnoliidaeIncludes magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, and many others
OrderRanunculalesBasal (evolved earlier) eudicots, also called “true dicots”
FamilyRanunculaceaeButtercup family
GenusClematisIn Greek means “long, lithe branches” and is an ancient name for some climbing plant
SpeciesvirginianaFrom or referring to Virginia

About plant names...

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:
 

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

9/21/2012 · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

  You are here
Clematis virginiana

Toxicodendron radicans
Common Name

Wild Clematis

Poison Ivy
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.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-8

Habitats Low, moist woods; thickets; stream banks Disturbed areas, roadsides, waste areas
Type Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common

 

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones 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.

Online References:

Clematis virginiana on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Clematis virginiana at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Clematis virginiana on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

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 (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

(The leaves are mulberry.) · 9/1/2013 · Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA
≈ 33 × 22" (84 × 56 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/8/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm) ID is uncertain

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/8/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/20/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/8/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm) ID is uncertain

Clematis virginiana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 4 Sep 2013.

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Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/20/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 4 × 3" (10 × 7.9 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/20/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/8/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/20/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

9/29/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

8/20/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

9/21/2012 · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Clematis virginiana (Wild Clematis, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Devil’s Darning Needles)

9/1/2013 · Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA
≈ 33 × 22" (84 × 56 cm)

Range: Zones 3-8:

About this map...