Virgin's Bower
Japanese Virgin's Bower - Sweet Autumn Clematis - Yam Leaf Clematis
Clematis terniflora - A.P. de Candolle
Rannunculaceae (Buttercup) Family

Virginia Virgin's Bower
Devil's Darning Needles
C. virginiana - Linnaeus
Rannunculaceae (Buttercup) Family

Plant is a tall, woody climber with trailing stems more than 10 feet long. Preferred habitat is moist roadsides, margin of rich woods, yards and waste sites. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are three foliate (a long leaf stem with leaflets arranged in sets of three on individual stalks at the tip of the leaf stalk and opposite). Leaflets have no teeth and no lobes; smooth; about two inches long and somewhat spear-shaped.

Flowers are clustered in sets of three on stalks arising from the leaf axil; individual sepals (looks like petals) are about one-half inch long; four to five in number surrounding the numerous stamens. Sepals are downy on the back. Flowers occur in the summer.

Fruit is a whorl of achene (seeds which outer layer is fused to the seed).

There are three varieties of Virgin’s Bower in this region; C. dioscoreifolia has flower sepals that are as much as one inch long; C. virginiana has sepals that are almost as broad as long and the leaves have scattered teeth on the margins. The variety above has flower sepals that are slender but not as long as dioscoreifolia. C. Dioscoreifolia is generally considered to be an escapee from the domestic landscape.

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