Alphabetical Plant Listing

Clematis virginiana (Virgin's Bower)

Devil's Darning Needles, American Virgin's Bower, Leather Flower, Virgin's Bower, Old Man's Beard, Woodbine, Clematis virginiana var. missouriensis


Clematis virginiana (Virgin's Bower) is a large deciduous climber with masses of sweetly fragrant, pure white flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), from late summer to fall. The blossoms are so profuse that they generally cover the foliage of trifoliate bright-green leaves. Even after flowering is over, this vine remains attractive, thanks to the plume-like seedheads left by the passing female flowers, therefore providing winter interest. Lacking tendrils, the vine supports itself by means of twisted stems, or petioles, that wrap around other plants. Without support, it will sprawl along the ground as a dense ground cover. Adding charm, fragrance and color in the late season garden, this vigorous and extremely floriferous vine is perfect for covering a wall, fence or arbor.

  • Quickly grows up to 10-20 ft. long (3-6 m). Can spread aggressively by self-seeding and suckering.
  • Thrives in medium to wet, well-drained soils, in full sun or part shade. Ideally, Clematis prefer having their 'heads in the sun and their feet in the shade'. Unlike most clematis, Virgin's Bower is tolerant of considerable shade. Prefers moist, rich soils, but will also thrive in dry shade.
  • This Clematis belongs to the third group of Clematis - a group including Clematis which flower in late summer on growth made in that season. They should be pruned in late winter or early spring and require 'hard pruning': simply cut back the stems to a pair of strong buds about 1ft. (30 cm) above ground level before growth begins in early spring. Cut back immediately after bloom where self-sown seedlings are a problem. 
  • Keep an eye out for clematis wilt, powdery mildew, leaf spots, rust, aphids, vine weevils, scale, earwigs and spider mites. 
  • The leaves of this species are poisonous to humans.
  • Native to Eastern North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Plant Type Climbers
Plant Family Clematis
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 10' – 20' (3m – 6m)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Walls and Fences
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Kathy Clark, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Plant Type Climbers
Plant Family Clematis
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 10' – 20' (3m – 6m)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Walls and Fences
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Clematis

Guides with Clematis

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