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Western Clematis, Western White Clematis, Western Virgin's Bower, Creek Clematis, Old Man's Beard, Pepper Vine - Clematis ligusticifolia


Family: Ranunculaceae - Buttercup family Genus Common Name: Leather Flower Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Vine
Clematis ligusticifolia - Western Clematis, Western White Clematis, Western Virgin's Bower, Creek Clematis, Old Man's Beard, Pepper Vine. This is the Virgin's Bower found most frequently in the western parts of the U.S. and Canada, growing in a variety of habitats. The plant may be toxic if ingested, and can cause skin irritations. According to Flora of North America, "Infusions prepared from the plants of Clematis ligusticifolia were used medicinally by Native Americans as a wash for skin eruptions, a lotion for backaches or swollen limbs, and a lotion to protect one against witches; stems and leaves were chewed to treat colds and sore throats; decoctions of leaves were also used as a wash and for stomachaches and cramps; and lathers of leaves were used to treat boils on humans and on animals (D. E. Moerman 1986)."

Found in:
AZ, CA, CO, ID, KS, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, PA, SD, UT, WA, WY

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Clematis ligusticifolia

Distribution of Clematis ligusticifolia in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 15 Dec 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Kleinschmidt Grade, Adams County, ID Date: 2011-June-19Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The white "petals" are not petals at all, but are sepals. The blossom is crowded with stamens and pistils.
Clematis ligusticifolia

Site: Kleinschmidt Grade, Adams County, ID Date: 2011-June-19Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The crowded flowers appear during the summer. They are followed by the silky seed heads, from which comes the common name "Old Man's Beard." See Clematis virginiana for a photo of a clematis "bearded" seedpod.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Clematis ligusticifolia

Site: Kleinschmidt Grade, Adams County, ID Date: 2011-June-19Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Clematis ligusticifolia, typical of most Clematis species, is a vines that agressively runs along the top of low plants or climbs taller plants and fences. The vine of this species can be more than 50' long.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Clematis ligusticifolia

Site: Kleinschmidt Grade, Adams County, ID Date: 2011-June-19Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The leaves are pinnate or bipinnate, with 5 to 15 leaflets. The leaflet shape is pretty variable, from lanceolate to ovate; it may or may not be lobed, and it may or may not be toothed.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Clematis ligusticifolia

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer