Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The California native Clematis have lovely white starry flowers in the spring and feathery seedheads in the winter. The seedheads are so unusual and showy, I almost like them better than the flowers. I am guessing this is C. ligusticifolia, but I am really not sure. It is climbing up through the trees at the UC Botanical Garden. Like many vines, it likes its roots in the shade and its leaves in the sun, and climbing up a tree creates the perfect conditions. I think the term "liana" is more commonly used for woody vines in tropical rain forests, but this seems like a liana, too, using trees for support in the same way and creating tree-top highways for animals in the same way. However, a plant is classified as a liana based on its stiffness, and not all vines meet the qualifications.

This vine is easy to grow and likes regular garden conditions.

1 comment:

Jeffrey said...

I've managed to list fifteen species of butterflies that visit the flowers of Clematis ligusticifolia for nectar. The showier Clematis lasiantha is said to be a good nectar plant for butterflies, but so far I've only got pale swallowtail as a specific visitor to its flowers. I'd love to learn more about their value to butterflies.