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Clematis viticaulis is another of the rare shale-barren native clematis species from the Virginia mountains. The compact 15" tall x 18" wide clumps are composed of sturdy wiry stems clothed in thick, hairy, green, single leaves and topped in spring with terminal, urn-shaped, creamy flowers having a purple blush. The most incredible feature of Clematis viticaulis is the coppery brown seedheads that replace the faded flowers and remain attractive through July (NC) when the plants may go semi-dormant. Clematis viticaulis is very similar in appearance to Clematis ochroleuca. Frankly, we can't see enough difference to warrant a separate species...but that's how we keep taxonomists employed and off the streets. Our seed was shared by Virginia plantsman Paul James from genetics originating in the Ironto Shale Barrens.
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