western blue virgin’s bower

(Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis)

Conservation Status
western blue virgin’s bower
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Western blue virgin’s bower 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.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

Climbing: up to 6

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Reddish violet

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moderate moisture. Woods.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

May to June

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28.

 
  12/28/2011      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  
 

Order

Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  
 

Family

Ranunculaceae (buttercup, crowfoot)  
  Subfamily Ranunculoideae  
  Tribe Anemoneae (anemones and allies)  
 

Genus

Clematis (clematis)  
  Subgenus Atragene  
  Species Clematis occidentalis (western blue virgin’s bower)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
       
       
 

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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Vine

  western blue virgin’s bower   western blue virgin’s bower
       

Inflorescence

  western blue virgin’s bower   western blue virgin’s bower
       

Leaves

  western blue virgin’s bower   western blue virgin’s bower
       
       

 

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