western blue virgin’s bower

(Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

western blue virgin’s bower

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Moderate moisture. Woods.

Flowering

May to June

     
Flower Color

Reddish violet

     
Height

Climbing: up to 6

     

Identification

This is a climbing and scrambling, perennial, woody vine. It is mostly hairless.

The stems are somewhat hairy. They extend from 1 to 11½ and can climb up to 6.

The leaves are opposite, compound, on stalks 2 to 4 long, and divided into 3 leaflets. The leaflets are attached to a central axis by a stalk to ¾ long.

The leaflets are egg-shaped to lance-shaped, unlobed or occasionally 1 to 3 lobed, and ¾ to 4 long but usually 1 to 2 long. They taper to a sharp point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. The margins are usually untoothed but may have shallow, blunt or rounded teeth.

The inflorescence is a single flower, sometimes 2, rising mostly from the leaf axils but also at the ends of the stems.

The flowers are 1 to 2 long, bell-shaped, and drooping. There are 4 reddish violet, petal-like sepals. There are no petals.

The fruit is an egg-shaped, flattened achene containing a single seed. The styles remain attached, becoming over ¾ long, green, silky, and curled. The are covered with long white hairs, giving them a feathery appearance. They eventually turn brown.

 
Similar
Species

Sweet autumn virgin’s bower (Clematis terniflora) leaves are unlobed, untoothed, and taper to a blunt, rounded tip. The inflorescence is dense, branched, stalked clusters, with 3 to 12 large flowers, rising from the leaf axils. The flowers are white.

Virgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana) leaves are divided into usually 5 leaflets. The leaflets are coarsely toothed. The inflorescence is dense, branched, stalked clusters, with 3 to 12 large flowers, rising from the leaf axils. The flowers are white to greenish. The elongated styles attached to the achenes are hairless.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Ranunculaceae (buttercup)

 

Subfamily:

Ranunculoideae

 

Tribe:

Anemoneae

 

Genus:

Clematis

 

Subgenus:

Atragene

 
Synonyms

Atragene americana

Atragene occidentalis

Clematis verticillaris

Clematis verticillaris var. cacuminis

Clematis verticillaris var. grandiflora

 
Common
Names

mountain clematis

purple clematis

purple virgin’s-bower

western blue virginsbower

western blue virgin’s bower


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Compound leaf

A leaf that is divided into leaflets, each leaflet having the general appearance of a leaf, with all leaflets attached to a single leaf stem.

       

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