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Clematis crispa (Swamp leatherflower)
Cressler, Alan

Clematis crispa

Clematis crispa L.

Swamp Leatherflower, Curly Clematis, Blue-jasmine, Curlflower, Curly Virgin's Bower, Marsh Clematis

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Synonym(s): Clematis crispa var. walteri, Coriflora crispa, Viorna crispa, Viorna crispa var. walteri, Viorna obliqua

USDA Symbol: clcr

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A climbing or weakly ascending herbaceous vine which can reach 10 ft. with support. Leaves are opposite, consisting of 2 pairs of leaflets. he pinnately compound, deciduous leaves have 3-5 linear to ovate leaflets. The mildly fragrant, pinkish purple flowers grow on a naked stem and hang upside down. They have no petals, but the petal-like sepals are joined in a way that gives them the shape of an urn. They separate into 4 petal-like lobes at the rim, where they are wavy and crimped, curling backward and to the side.


From the Image Gallery

26 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: Normally climbs or trails 6 to 10 feet. Will lose its leaves in mild winters, die to the ground in harsh winters, then come back in the spring.
Flower: Flowers 1 to 2 inches

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Normally blooms mid-spring and again in early fall, but may bloom lightly through the summer as well. Color ranges from blue to pink to lavender to white.


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MO , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Chiefly Coastal Plain and Mississippi River valley from VA to FL & MS, n. to TN, AR, & s. IL, Zones 6 to 9
Native Habitat: Wet woods and marshes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rich, moist or wet, acidic soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.


Use Ornamental: Blooms ornamental. Twines on fences, screens, & other plants. Patio pot plant. Climbs walls, columns, and arbors. Without support, can be used to sprawl over low structures like steps or low walls.
Use Wildlife: Seeds-granivorous birds, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-insects
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes


Propagation Material: Root Cuttings , Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Take softwood cuttings in summer. Can also be propagated by seed or root cuttings.
Seed Treatment: A 60-180 day period of cold-moist stratification at 33-40 degrees aids in the germination of stored seeds.

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 on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2016-03-15
Research By: TWC Staff

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