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Clematis texensis (Scarlet clematis)
Lytle, Melody

Clematis texensis

Clematis texensis Buckley

Scarlet Clematis, Scarlet Leatherflower, Texas Clematis

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Synonym(s): Clematis coccinea, Coriflora texensis

USDA Symbol: CLTE2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Scarlet Leather-flower or Scarlet Clematis is an herbaceous to slightly woody vine, climbing to 10 ft. Bell-shaped flowers, blooming only on new growth, are held in axillary clusters of one to seven. The flower petals are actually thick, leather-like, scarlet-colored sepals. A feathery ball of plumed seeds follows the floral display. Stems are bare for the first two feet.

This is a very hardy and drought tolerant clematis. Under ideal, sunny conditions, blooms may last until the first frost. Widely cultivated because of the red flowers but native only to the southeastern Edwards Plateau in Texas.


From the Image Gallery

60 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Pinnate
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Climbing stems up to about 10 feet long.
Leaf: Terminal most leaflets often twisted and acting as tendrils.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Petals absent. Sepals petaloid.


Native Distribution: Endemic to Edwards Plateau, TX
Native Habitat: Texas endemic. Edwards Plateau. Well-drained limestone, loam, sand. Limestone cliffs; rocky slopes; streamsides

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rocky, limestone soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Limestone-based
Conditions Comments: With a delicate vine form, rounded spade-shaped leaves and red, urn-shaped flowers, this plant provides a subtle, beautiful accent to a shady, moist area. It blooms best with half a day of sun, and blooms may continue until the first frost. This is a very hardy and drought tolerant clematis.


Use Ornamental: Twines on fences & other plants
Use Medicinal: Tea from dried, chopped stems reported as treatment for headache, especially migraine. Tincture formerly used as counter-irritant.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate


Propagation Material: Softwood Cuttings
Description: Plant seed outdoors in the fall or store and stratify before planting. Single, internodal, softwood cuttings taken in summer can be rooted, although this species does not root readily. Clematis spp. are also propagated by late summer layerings.
Seed Collection: Gather seeds when they are no longer green but before the cluster of achenes completely dries and drops the seeds to the ground. Remain viable up to two years without refrigeration.
Seed Treatment: Moist stratify at 41 degrees for 60-90 days.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: After freezing weather cut stems back to ground as this clematis blooms on new wood.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0655 Collected Jun 6, 1992 in Medina County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0602 Collected May 13, 1992 in Medina County by Harry Cliffe

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-649 Collected 2004-07-20 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) 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 texensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Clematis texensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Clematis texensis


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

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