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Clematis ligusticifolia (Western white clematis)
Glase, Terry

Clematis ligusticifolia

Clematis ligusticifolia Nutt.

Western white clematis, Virgin's bower, Pepper vine, Hierba de chivo

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: CLLI2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A strong, woody or semi-woody climber to 20 ft. or more. The wide clusters of creamy-white blossoms, from leaf axils on the upper portions of the plant, occur in such profusion they impart a white color to the whole mass of growth. These are followed by light-catching, silky seed plumes. Deciduous leaves are pinnately compound with 5-7 leaflets.

This speciesí traditional name, Pepper Vine, referred to the acrid, peppery taste of the stems and leaves, which Native Americans chewed as a remedy for colds and sore throats. It is said that the crushed roots were placed in the nostrils of tired horses to revive them. Caution is advised: The genus is known to have poisonous species.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Notes: Climber
Leaf: Green
Fruit:
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug

Distribution

USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , PA , SD , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , SK
Native Distribution: B.C. to Baja CA, e. to Alt., the Dakotas, w. NE & NM
Native Habitat: Woods along streams; moist, brushy coulees

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Rich, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Clematis ligusticifolia is widely adaptable, tough and disease-resistant. Rejuvenate by cutting back to 1 ft. above ground every 3-5 years. In very dry, hot areas, provide afternoon shade and mulch to keep the roots cool.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Showy seeds.
Use Wildlife: Browsed by deer.
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Severe pain in mouth if eaten; skin irritation if touched or inhaled. Symptoms include burning sensation of mouth and mouth ulcers; skin redness and burning sensation. Toxic Principle: Anemonin.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Hummingbirds

Propagation

Description: Sow seeds in fall (slow to germinate). Increase by late-spring cuttings or by layering.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: A 60-180 day period of cold-moist stratification at 33-40 degrees aids in the germination of stored seeds.
Commercially Avail: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACW FAC FACW FACU FACU FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Clematis ligusticifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Clematis ligusticifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Clematis ligusticifolia

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2013-06-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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