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Clematis pitcheri Torr. & Gray

Modern name

Clematis pitcheri Torr. & A.Gray

A deciduous climber 12 or more ft high; young stems downy. Leaves pinnate, composed of three to seven leaflets, which are ovate, with a rounded or slightly heart-shaped base, sometimes two- or three-lobed, or even trifoliolate; 1 to 3 in. long, half as wide; strongly net-veined, and more or less downy beneath. The terminal leaflet is often reduced to a tendril. Flower solitary on a downy stalk, 2 to 4 in. long. Sepals purplish blue outside, 34 to 114 in. long, the tapering points slightly reflexed, showing the greenish-yellow inner surface, margins downy; the margins of the sepals converge, giving the flower the urn or pitcher shape characteristic of the Viorna group to which this belongs. Seed-vessels almost circular, but narrowed at the top to a slightly downy (not feathery) style 34 in. long.

Native of the Central United States; introduced to Kew in 1878. It has been confused in French periodicals with C. texensis, which differs not only in the colour of the flowers, but is, like another ally, C. viorna, distinguished by the plumed styles. C. pitcheri is the best of the Viorna group in gardens; the stems do not die back so much in winter as the others. It flowers from the end of May to September, never making any great display at one time.



Other species in the genus