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Early, Small-flowered Clematis, Sweet Autumn Clematis, Japanese Clematis 'Purity'


Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Clematis (KLEM-uh-tiss) (Info)
Cultivar: Purity
Hybridized by Ericson
Registered or introduced: 1994
Synonym:Clematis maximowicziana
Synonym:Clematis paniculata
Synonym:Clematis chinensis
Synonym:Clematis dioscoreifolia
Synonym:Clematis thunbergii
» View all varieties of Clematis


Late Mixed


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Flower Fragrance:

Very Fragrant

Bloom Shape:


Bloom Diameter:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive


Unknown - Tell us

Pruning Groups:

Group 3 - Summer/Fall bloomers; prune hard in early spring

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Birmingham, Alabama

Gadsden, Alabama

Rainbow City, Alabama

Juneau, Alaska

Stamford, Connecticut

Quincy, Florida

Carrollton, Georgia

Tennille, Georgia

Geneva, Illinois

Quincy, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Anderson, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Macy, Indiana

South Amana, Iowa

Plain Dealing, Louisiana

Edgartown, Massachusetts

Quincy, Massachusetts

Rolla, Missouri

Cut Bank, Montana

Omaha, Nebraska

Annandale, New Jersey

Brigantine, New Jersey

Trenton, New Jersey

Greene, New York

Poughkeepsie, New York

Durham, North Carolina

Oak Ridge, North Carolina

Akron, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Geneva, Ohio

Portsmouth, Ohio

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Summerville, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

White River Junction, Vermont

Springfield, Virginia

Cathan, Washington

Port Angeles, Washington

Green Bay, Wisconsin

New Lisbon, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 4, 2013, StuKin from Stamford, CT wrote:

I first saw this plant growing on a stone wall beside rte 138 in Rhode Island, and was intrigued. I didn't know what it was, but I wanted one. Finally, after searching for 5 years, I found one. Planted beside a split rail fence, it has thrived for at least 10 years. I've collected numerous seedlings and planted them in other locations where they can climb. I have not found this plant to be invasive or otherwise problematic. Most of it gets winter-killed, so it controls itself. It's not necessary to remove the dead material, but it definitely looks neater if it is cleaned up in the spring. I understand this plant to be highly poisonous and possibly a skin irritant. I've handled it extensively and never had any adverse reaction. I don't know where the name Virgin's Bower comes from... read more


On Apr 5, 2013, KariGrows from New Lisbon, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I cant say enough about this plant. A friend gave me a small seedling and look at it 4 years later! I have given it so little attention...but very important is to have something sturdy for it to climb on. I have a wire mesh attached to the wooden frame structure. The wood form , was built to hang deer during deer hunting. I thought it should be used for something far better and it has worked out well.
Last summer Wisconsin had a drought and since this is far from the hose, it only was watered a few times. The roots must be very deep for it thrived and bloomed just like the year before.
I love it.


On May 12, 2012, susanda from Louisville, KY wrote:

i love autumn haze. hope to grow it in vt this year. Wonder will it grow here?
had it in Texas and KY.
there seems some confusion about its invasiveness.
i was told there was 'old man's beard' [c. vitalba] which is a weed, some of us might like anyhow, and will take over; and 'autumn haze'[c. terniflora] which is slower growing, can be a wonderful giant fully white frothy flowering bower vine, but not invasive at all. it took me 3 years to get mine to take in KY. very slow growing.


On Apr 8, 2012, KittyWittyKat from Saint Paul, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

The cultivar 'Purity' is a male clone that blooms in the spring.


On Sep 5, 2011, altoclef from Los Altos, CA wrote:

I planted Sweet Autumn in the fall of 2008. It hardly grew at all at first, but in 2009 leafed out and showed promise, but no flowers. In 2010 it produced one flower in July, but no fragrance. As of today, September 2011, it is producing many buds, but none of them is opening. Perhaps we have a "Sweet October."


On Apr 12, 2011, charlielou from Green Bay, WI wrote:

I live in Green Bay WI- I planted this variety about three years ago. It has not appeared anywhere else in my yard, and there are so many blooms in fall, it is just spectacular. Is it possible that there are different varieties available? (Mine does not seem to sow seed anywhere!)
The vine is gorgeous- especially since it flowers late, and has such sweet fragrance. I am just wondering if there are self-sowing, and non-s-s plants available. I did not plant from seed- purchased the plant from a local nursery.


On Oct 12, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This strong growing vine can easily cover a small tree or arbor in one season. I have it planted at the base of a Japanese Pussy Willow where it thrives and completely covers the tree with fragrant, vanilla scented blooms in late August and September. I had previously grown it next to the garage on a large 8' trellis/arbor, however it outgrew the space and began growing over the garage roof and even beneath the shingles and siding. Since planting it in the new location it seems happy and makes a nice landscape addition in late summer. It is AKA Clematis maximowicziana and Clematis paniculata. A good garden choice for those who have plenty of space, or to make a bold garden statement.