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Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis (Western blue virginsbower)
Vick, Albert F. W.

Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis

Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC. var. occidentalis

Western Blue Virginsbower, Purple Clematis

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Synonym(s): Atragene americana, Atragene occidentalis, Clematis verticillaris, Clematis verticillaris var. cacuminis, Clematis verticillaris var. grandiflora


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

Purple clematis may climb to a length of 20 ft. with groups of three-parted, compound leaves and large, purplish-blue, bell-shaped flowers at intervals along the stalk. The flowers are followed by a silvery plume-like cluster of feathery achenes. Old wood is exfoliating - red-brown to purple.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Climber, stems up to about 20 feet long, often much shorter.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: CT , DE , IA , IL , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Habitat: River banks; rocky woods.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Cool, limy, humus-rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Subject to insects and blight.


Use Wildlife: Low
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.

The name Clematis is the Greek word for long, easily bent branches"" (Andy Fyon)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Propagation is by softwood cuttings, division, and seed.
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

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-05-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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