Clematis lasiantha Nutt.
Pipestem Clematis, Pipestems, Chaparral Clematis
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
USDA Symbol: CLLA3
A strong, woody climber to 20 ft. or more. Bears few-flowered clusters of creamy-white blossoms on the upper portions of the plant. These are followed by light-catching, silky seed plumes. Deciduous leaves are pinnately compound with 3 leaflets.
Clematis lasiantha, with its cheery white-and-yellow spring flowers and decorative, silky seed plumes in summer, is a member of the buttercup family (family Ranunculaceae). A widely adaptable, tough, and disease-resistant plant, it is a good choice for native plant gardens within its range, which is from north-central California south into Baja California. It can climb to 20 feet and can take light shade or full sun. It is deciduous and may die back completely in cold winters, but will reemerge in the spring. It does well in normal garden conditions. It is less widespread, more delicate, and less vigorous than the related Clematis ligusticifolia.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Trifoliate
Leaf Shape: Ovate
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Dentate
Leaf Texture: Smooth
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Inflorescence: Axillary , Cyme
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Scrambling to climbing stems up to about 20 feet long.
Fruit: Silvery white to greenish white achenes
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Creamy white with brighter yellow center.
Native Distribution: Coast Ranges and Sierra foothills of CA south into Baja California.
Native Habitat: Woods and shrubby areas in canyons and near streams
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Well-drained soils of decomposed granite, sand, or clay loam, pH 5 to 8, rich or with minimal organic content.
Conditions Comments: In very dry, hot areas, provide afternoon shade and mulch to keep the roots cool.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy flowers and seed plumes
Use Wildlife: Attracts butterflies
Warning: Some members of the Clematis genus are poisonous, and animals have become ill after grazing on the plants. Humans should generally avoid ingesting plants that are toxic to animals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagation by seed is possible. Many Clematis spp. are also propagated by late summer layerings.
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
Maintenance: In coldest areas, may die back to the ground each winter, so only prune, if necessary, in early spring. Rejuvenate by cutting back to 1 ft. above ground every 3-5 years.
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 7 - Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California (1993) Hickman, J.C. (ed.)
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Clematis lasiantha in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Clematis lasiantha in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Clematis lasiantha
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff, GDG