Spacing: 18-24 in. (45-60 cm) 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Flower Fragrance: Very Fragrant
Bloom Shape: Single
Bloom Diameter: Small - less than 2 inches (5 cm)
Bloom Time: Mid Summer
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Flowers are fragrant Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
On Jul 17, 2011, DracusBiology from Portage, MI wrote:
Whoa, whoa, wait a minute... assuming you live in the Eastern United States and Canada this is a completely native plant. Yes it still has quite a potential to be 'weedy' but if you are looking for a native plant/pollinator garden this is a decent choice. Although it might take a little extra work to keep it in check the hummingbirds are supposed to go nuts with this stuff and it has a pretty long flowering season. There is some of this growing in a park nearby to my home and although I haven't seen any hummingbirds I have seen tons of butterflies at the flowers.
All parts of all species of clematis are toxic and most other native and non-native varieties will cause some minor skin irritation if you really get into it because of the toxin anemonin (for that matter many other common garden plants like foxglove are extremely toxic). If you aren't into the native gardening thing then this may not be for you but it certainly doesn't deserve a bad rap, at least not here were it is native.
On Mar 29, 2011, cmackie from Allentown, PA wrote:
Why does the plant data for this species list it as "very fragrant"? I thought the fact that it has no fragrance is one of the characteristics that distinguishes it from the invasive Japananes sweet autumn clematis.
On Aug 12, 2010, frecklez from Rochester, VT wrote:
I'm dealing with the wild variety of virgin's bower (clematis virginiana) and although I couldn't find the comments on your site about its invasiveness, I'll say, WATCH OUT! Normally I take the whole invasive-species thing with a large grain of salt, but now it's war!
I had 2 little swamp willows sprout at the same time by my deck. Swamp willows grow in abundance up back along the old road so I welcomed them as a native species making themselves at home. I call them The Twins. They have been identical size and all, until just this year. I noticed one of them has been doing poorly, shrinking down, losing not just leaves but leaf stems, resulting in completely bare stems. I thought they were competing--until I noticed this really pretty vine, ivy-shaped leaves, lovely fairy-like white blossoms, sprawling all over the little willow. On a walk up the road, I then start connecting the dots. An entire row of wild swamp willows had been stripped last year and are dying. What should I notice now that I'm looking? Virgin's bower, clambering all over the place.
I feel like I'm in a horror movie featuring a predatory plant. Because the v.b. is indeed consuming my swamp willow, and has reached out a long tentacle to the other Twin.
Today I spent some time ripping out as much of the v.b. as I could, but I think it's spreading underground. It's also harboring in the overgrown brambles on the rocky bank by the willows, so I'm sure it will be back.
Any advice for demolishing this total pest??? Is it a native species?
P.S. I live in Central Vermont. The invasion of the v.b. almost seems like a recent phenomenon. Is it a byproduct of a noticeably milder climate up our way?
On Sep 8, 2009, travelgal from Clarkesville, GA wrote:
I think this plant can be confused with Sweet Autumn Clematis. (terniflora?) They are very similar. One is more invasive than the other. I have seen one of them growing wild in NE GA. It has two-tone varieg. green leaves. Does anyone have a positive ID on this? Thanx, Brenda
We've had this plant growing in wood containers on our Manhattan terrace for more than 3 years, and every late summer it gives great pleasure to us and all our neighboring condo dwellers: beautiful clouds of white flowers all along our railings. Of course dies back every winter but comes back strong each spring. Granted, there's no danger of it escaping the containers and eating Manhattan, but it's a great note of nature in the city.
On Aug 14, 2005, grikdog from St. Paul, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
Put it someplace where you won't have to fight it. I have it out back fighting with the virginia creeper on an old woodpile. It is great there. I had to use extreme measures to remove it from near my garage because it was popping up where it was not wanted. Now we are living in peace :).
On Jun 24, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
I had posted before in my naivete, thinking that I had the native Clematis virginiana, when actually I had the invasive Japanese Sweet Autumn Clematis, C. terniflora. I still would like to see a photo of the two plants' leaves and flowers side-by-side to get a better idea of the differences. It is my current understanding that C. virginiana has a more serrate edge to the leaf, whereas C. ternifolia has a smooth leaf margin.
I don't think any native plant, like Clematis virginiana, can be considered "invasive." You might call them "prolific spreaders," but they were here before Europeans began to disturb the soil for their own whims, so consider for a moment whom the actual "invader" may be.
On Jun 8, 2004, dawogette from Geraldton Australia wrote:
Mulch well with composts in late winter
Aggressive when healthy, but sometimes difficult to establish. The best road to success is a cool, shaded root zone.
Prune: according to group (see general notes, above)
Bark: Exfoliating in strips, gray-brown
Fragrance: Some spp are strongly fragrant
Fruit: Achenes, often with feathery styles
Solitary or in panicles
Campanulate (bell-shaped) or flat.
Perfect or unisexual. Carpels numerous.
Sepals 4, in 4’s or occaisionally 5’s, petal-like, petals absent, stamens numerous, some spp. with petal-like stamens.
Simple or pinnately or bipinnately compound
Moist but well drained, fertile, humous rich, many prefer sweet soils.
Keep root zone cool, shaded, and mulched with composts or leaves.
Plant distribution in Australia: Introduced “Noxious weed” aggressively eradicated
The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, page 274-279
Hortus Third, page 281-285
The Plants of Pennsylvania, page 572-574
Dictionary of Plant Names, Allen J. Coombes, page 43-44
This plant has beautiful tiny white flowers which bloom and cascade over in the fall, thence it's name. The downside is hundreds of plants it generates all over your lawn. They are impossible to pull up, and very difficult to kill, even with Roundup.
On Aug 27, 2003, sistabeth from Harrisburg, NC wrote:
This wonderful plant showed up in my yard as a volunteer. It was easily transplanted to a full sun area. I had no knowledge of the plant, but started it on a trellis and the results are spectacular. Profuse flowers and heavenly scent. Thank you Mother Nature for this "gift". I would have paid $ for it.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Blytheville, Arkansas Sacramento, California Bartow, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Brunswick, Georgia Divernon, Illinois Lincoln, Illinois Waukegan, Illinois Trout, Louisiana Zachary, Louisiana Northeast Harbor, Maine Valley Lee, Maryland Portage, Michigan Chaska, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota St Paul, Minnesota Learned, Mississippi Frenchtown, New Jersey Hilton, New York New York, New York Panama, New York Harrisburg, North Carolina Bucyrus, Ohio Fruit Hill, Ohio Glouster, Ohio Allentown, Pennsylvania Harrisonville, Pennsylvania Millersburg, Pennsylvania Austin, Texas