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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Clematis ligusticifolia Nutt.
Western white clematis, Virgin's bower, Pepper vine, Hierba de chivo
USDA Symbol: clli2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A strong, woody or semi-woody climber to 20 ft. or more. The wide clusters of creamy-white blossoms, from leaf axils on the upper portions of the plant, occur in such profusion they impart a white color to the whole mass of growth. These are followed by light-catching, silky seed plumes. Deciduous leaves are pinnately compound with 5-7 leaflets.
This speciesí traditional name, Pepper Vine, referred to the acrid, peppery taste of the stems and leaves, which Native Americans chewed as a remedy for colds and sore throats. It is said that the crushed roots were placed in the nostrils of tired horses to revive them. Caution is advised: The genus is known to have poisonous species.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Vine Leaf Retention: Deciduous Size Notes:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , PA , SD , UT , WA , WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
B.C. to Baja CA, e. to Alt., the Dakotas, w. NE & NM Native Habitat:
Woods along streams; moist, brushy coulees USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Rich, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Clematis ligusticifolia is widely adaptable, tough and disease-resistant. Rejuvenate by cutting back to 1 ft. above ground every 3-5 years. In very dry, hot areas, provide afternoon shade and mulch to keep the roots cool.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy seeds.
Use Wildlife: Browsed by deer.
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.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Hummingbirds
PropagationDescription: Sow seeds in fall (slow to germinate). Increase by late-spring cuttings or by layering.
Seed Collection: Not Available
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
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
NPSOT - Austin Chapter
- Austin, TXNative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2009-06-11
Research By: TWC Staff