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Clematis viorna L.

Modern name

Clematis viorna L.

A half-woody climber 6 to 10 ft high. Leaves mostly pinnate; leaflets, usually five, of various sizes and shapes, the basal ones largest, mostly two- or three-lobed, or trifoliolate, often heart-shaped at the base, 112 to 2 in. long and wide; the upper ones not lobed, ovate, 34 to 112 in. long; all of them without teeth and often glabrous. Flowers nodding, solitary on stiff stalks 2 or 3 in. long; sepals very thick and leathery, pointed, 1 to 114 in. long, dull reddish purple, greenish white or yellowish inside. The sepals touch and form a bell-shaped flower, slightly narrowed towards the mouth where the points are curved back. Seed-vessels with brownish feathery styles 1 in. long.

Native of the eastern United States, introduced in 1730. It is the type species of a group of Clematis whose converging sepals give an urn- or bell-shape to the flower. The stems die back in winter to the woody base of the plant. Although interesting and curious, this species is not particularly attractive.



Other species in the genus