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

 Native Plant Database

Clematis pitcheri


Purple clematis, Purple leatherflower, Leatherflower, Bluebill


Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



Clematis pitcheri (Purple clematis)
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 35 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:

25 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: 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: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Petals absent. Sepals petaloid.

Distribution

USA: AR , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , MO , NE , NM , OK , TN , TX
Native Distribution: S.w. IN to e. NE, s. to TX
Native Habitat: Woodlands edge, thickets, bluff ledges, slopes.

Growing Conditions

Water 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.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Showy, Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Twines on fences & other plants
Use Wildlife: Cover, Seeds-granivorous birds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes

Last Update: 2010-05-06