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Clematis ligusticifolia Nutt.
Western white clematis, Virgin's bower, Pepper vine, Hierba de chivo
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 CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Vine Leaf Retention: Deciduous Size Notes:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, WY Canada: AB
, 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 ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse 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
PropagationDescription: 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
National Wetland Indicator Status
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, TXNative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2013-06-21
Research By: TWC Staff