The clematis is a genus within the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. Originating in China, the plant was brought to Japan in the 17th century before expanding to Europe in the 18th. It is one of the most popular garden plants and has been a garden mainstay since 1862. Known for its incredible flowers, clematises are made of woody, climbing vines. Some species are shrubby while others are perennial. Generally found in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, the clematis is a favorite food of caterpillars.