Native Plant of the Week: Virgin's Bower

Updated: Sep 21

Family: Ranunculaceae


Name: Clematis virginiana - Virgin's Bower


Bloom Time: July - September


Flower: White


Soil Condition: Dry, Average, Moist


Light: Sun, Partial Shade, Shade


Height: 15-20' tall by 3-12' wide


Native Range: Eastern North America including Long Island


Zone: 3 to 9

Clematis virginiana is fast growing vine with showy, fragrant flowers and fluffy seed heads (female only). It is very useful to hide wire fences as it lacks tendrils and curls its leaf stems to support itself. The scrambling nature is also attractive when left to hang over a wall or scramble down a hillside. You may choose to cut it back in April or let it go naturally to create nesting sites for birds. Plant is poisonous to humans if eaten and may cause skin irritation. Often confused with the invasive Clematis terniflora aka Clematis paniculata. It is easy to identify. The native Clematis has sharply toothed leaves as opposed to the round leaves of the invasive varieties.


Fun Fact: Another common name is 'Old Man's Beard' because of the bushy 'whiskers' of the seed heads.


Maintenance: Cut back to 12" in April to encourage fuller plants, may be pruned at any time during the growing season, susceptible to powdery mildew


Benefits: deer and rabbit resistant, tolerates shade and juglone (Black Walnut), birds use the seed heads for nest building, nectar source, pollinators


Companion Plants: Allium cernuum - nodding onion


pictures: buds, flowers, seed head (KMS Native Plants LLC)

=============================================================

References:

1. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=clvi5

2. http://www.newmoonnursery.com/plant/Clematis-virginiana


58 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All