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Western Blue Virgin's Bower, Purple Clematis, Rock Clematis, Blue Clematis

Clematis occidentalis

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Clematis (KLEM-uh-tiss) (Info)
Species: occidentalis (ok-sih-den-TAY-liss) (Info)
Synonym:Atragene occidentalis
Synonym:Atragene americana
Synonym:Clematis alpina var. verticillaris
Synonym:Clematis verticillaris
Synonym:Clematis verticillaris var. grandiflora
» View all varieties of Clematis




36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

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:

Fuchsia (Red-Purple)


Flower Fragrance:

No fragrance

Bloom Shape:




Bloom Diameter:

Small - less than 2 inches (5 cm)

Medium - 2 to 5 inches (5 to 12 cm)

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Pruning Groups:

Group 1 - Spring bloomers; no pruning

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clover, South Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 10, 2016, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This species is native to both the West in the Rocky Mountains from Colorado up to the Yukon and in Saskatchewan and Alberta and to the East in southeast Canada, New England, NY, PA, north NJ, north DE, into WV & VA. around Lake Superior, southeast MN, northeast IA, and central WI. Maybe two, an eastern and a western variety should be recognized. Gary Highshoe in his textbook of Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America shows a good map of the eastern range and calls it Clematis verticillaris, the Rock Clematis. The cold hardiness zones in the East are about USDA Zones 2 to 7. Grows the most in nature on rocky slopes and woods.


On Jun 30, 2011, Bookerc1 from Mackinaw, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I discovered this lovely little wildflower on a trip up a back road through Emigrant's Gulch in Montana. What a sweet surprise! It did not seem to have the bully properties of some other wild clematis, like the variety known as Virgin's Bower in the south, or sweet autumn clematis, which has been known to tumble strong trellises and arbors. It wound its way through shrubs and up trees, without seeming to affect the supporting plant in any way. Very pretty effect!


On Dec 15, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

A lovely, delicate clematis of the Rockies, this one is not the most floriferous in cultivation. It looks much like C. alpina or C. macrophylla but the latter species are much more floriferous in the garden. The Blue Clematis, however, will grow in much deeper shade than the other species mentioned. It would be a fine addition to a woodland garden; simply allow the plant to scramble among the shrubs as it would in nature. The seedheads are fluffy and an added attraction.