Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Clematis texensis

Scarlet clematis, Scarlet leatherflower, Texas clematis

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Clematis texensis (Scarlet clematis)
Lytle, Melody
Scarlet leather-flower or scarlet clematis is an herbaceous to slightly woody vine, climbing no more than 9 ft. Bell-shaped flowers, blooming only on new growth, are held in axillary clusters of one to seven. The flower petals are actually thick, leather-like, scarlet-colored sepals. A feathery ball of plumed seeds follows the floral display. Stems are bare for the first two feet.

This is a very hardy and drought tolerant clematis. In ideal, sunny conditions, blooms may last until the first frost. Widely cultivated because of the red flowers but native only to the southeastern Edwards Plateau in Texas.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Pinnate
Size Notes: 6-9 feet.
Leaf: Terminal most leaflets often twisted and acting as tendrils.
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Petals absent. Sepals petaloid.


Native Distribution: Endemic to Edwards Plateau, TX
Native Habitat: Texas endemic. Edwards Plateau. Well-drained limestone, loam, sand. Limestone cliffs; rocky slopes; streamsides

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rocky, limestone soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Limestone-based
Conditions Comments: With a delicate vine form, rounded spade-shaped leaves and red, urn-shaped flowers, this plant provides a subtle, beautiful accent to a shady, moist area. It blooms best with half a day of sun, and blooms may continue until the first frost. This is a very hardy and drought tolerant clematis.


Use Ornamental: Twines on fences & other plants
Use Medicinal: Tea from dried, chopped stems reported as treatment for headache, especially migraine. Tincture formerly used as counter-irritant.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Last Update: 2011-07-09