Purple Leatherflower, Purple Clematis, Leatherflower, Bluebill, Bellflower Clematis, Pitcher's Clematis
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Marcus, Joseph A.
Bluebill or leather-flower is an herbaceous, perennial vine
climbing to 10 ft. by means of twining petioles. Leaves are opposite,
divided into 3–5 pairs of leaflets that are marked on the underside by a prominent, raised network of veins. Flowers are nodding, on long, slender stems from the leaf axil. They are dull-purple to brick-red on the outside; dark purple, red, or greenish white on the inside. The 4 sepals
are petal-like, thick, and united at the base; they are recurved or only lightly spreading near the tip; petals are absent; stamens
many; pistils many
The interesting flowers of Clematis pitcheri
are long lasting. The plant is fairly heat and drought-tolerant. It dies to the ground in fall.
Image Gallery: 36 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Vine Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Opposite Leaf Complexity: Pinnate Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
, Ovate Leaf Margin: Entire Size Notes:
8-10 feet. Leaf:
Dark dull green and nearly glabrous
adaxially, shiny light green. Terminal most leaflets often twisted and acting as tendrils. Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color:
Purple Bloom Time:
May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep Bloom Notes:
Petals absent. Sepals
, TX Native Distribution:
to e. NE,
s. to TX Native Habitat:
Woodlands edge, thickets, bluff ledges, slopes.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Thick, succulent, urn-shaped petals (which are really sepals) give purple leatherflower its name. The seeds have fluffy tails radiating out like a starburst. Stems of purple leatherflower are brittle and should be supported or tied to a trellis. The interesting flowers of Clematis pitcheri are long lasting. The plant is fairly heat and drought-tolerant. It dies to the ground in fall.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Twines on fences & other plants
Use Wildlife: Cover, Seeds-granivorous birds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes