Leaf: Opposite, deciduous, trifoliate (sometimes pinnate with 5 leaflets), individual leaflets ovate with toothed margins, 2 to 4 inches long; shiny green above and paler below; both the long petiolules and the rachis commonly wrap around other structures to aid in climbing.
Flower: Species is monoecious; fragrant and showy, white with 4 sepals, 3/4 inch across, borne on panicles, present late summer.
Fruit: Small dry brown seeds with a long white feathery plume, borne in thin dandelion-like heads, maturing in the fall, can be nearly as showy as the flowers.
Twig: Initially green, changing to red-brown, numerous ridges, wiry, climbs by twining.
Bark: Initially smooth and light brown, later developing long splits and shreddy long strips.
Form: A climbing vine that can completely overtake its supporting stucture in a dense tangle, to 20 feet.
Looks like: sweetautumn clematis - swamp leather flower
Additional Range Information: Clematis virginiana is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information