sweetautumn clematis Ranunculaceae Clematis
terniflora DC. symbol: CLTE4
Leaf: Opposite, evergreen to deciduous farther north, pinnately compound with five leaflets or trifoliate, individual leaflets more or less cordate with entire 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, described as refreshing, white with 4 sepals, 1 inch across, borne on branching panicles, present late summer and early fall.
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, and changing to 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 30 feet and a main stem diameter of 4 inches.
Looks like: virgin's bower - swamp leather flower
Additional Range Information: Clematis terniflora is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Fall Color
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