Posted by goldfinch4
(Ripon, Wisconsin) on Oct 30, 2011 1:51 PM concerning plant:
Often confused with sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora or Clematis paniculata). The two vines can be distinguished by their leaves; on a virgin's bower, almost all leaves are have jagged teeth. Sweet autumn clematis has rounded leaves, which are mostly untoothed. Part of the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) Family. Flowers have no fragrance. All parts of this plant are poisonous to humans. 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 is minor and lasts only a few minutes.
Posted by mellielong
(Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 17, 2015 10:34 PM concerning plant:
The book "How to Know the Wildflowers" (1922) by Mrs William Starr Dana gives the common names of "Traveller's Joy" and "Virgin's Bower". The author states that the plant blooms in July and August, while "later in the year the seeds with their silvery plumes give a feathery effect." She also makes note of experiments Darwin conducted with Clematis. Whether she is referring to this particular species or the whole genus is unknown, but she lists it under this species. Anyway, she states that Darwin was conducting experiments regarding the movements of the young shoots of the plant. He discovered that "one revolved, describing a broad oval, in five hours, thirty minutes; and another in six hours, twelve minutes; they follow the course of the sun."
Posted by ILPARW
(southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 4, 2018 5:52 PM concerning plant:
The American Virginsbower grows in various sites from swamp and river banks to forest edges to fields to cliffs from Nova Scotia and southeast Canada down to northern Florida to eastern Texas to central Nebraska into southern Manitoba and back around the Great Lakes. I bought one plant in a small container sent by mail from Prairie Nursery in central Wisconsin and planted it where it grows up on my deck rails and on the Sweetbay Magnolia. It is fast growing of up to 20 feet in one year, though mine took a few years to get big. The white flowers of mine have a little bit of a sweet fragrance. This Clematis species is not sold by most garden centers or nurseries, where the colourful large-flowered cultivars are well-known and used instead. Native nurseries, specialty nurseries, and a few large, diverse nurseries sell some. It is not a common plant in gardens and landscapes. I've only seen some wild vines twice at two land preserves in southeast PA. The leaves are trifoliate compound leaves with some large teeth on margins. This species is dioecious and I have a female that still bears some hairy seed that might not be fertile. I have not seen any babies from seed, but the vine does do some ground suckering. The male plants have brighter white, slightly showier flowers. (I like this clematis better than the Sweetautumn Clematis from Japan that is very rampant growing and makes babies all over the place.)
Posted by Chillybean
(Iowa - Zone 5a) on Aug 9, 2015 12:24 PM concerning plant:
This is a US native vine that can grow in sunny or part sun locations. For the plant to go to seed, you need both male and female plants. This is what I consider the plant's glory, those amazing seed heads! We have eight of these in hopes there will be at least one of each gender. This we will find out the first time they flower.
We dug up an alien clematis to make room for one pair. Two were put in as dormant roots last fall; one did not make it. I ordered seven more plants. Most are in part shade, but a couple are along a fence line that gets sun all day. They started out slow this spring, but then they really took off as the season progressed.
Unlike alien Clematis, which the rabbits have eaten down to the ground, this is poisonous to mammals. I really do not like having to chicken wire plants to keep the rabbits out. The only feeders so far, are whatever insects nibble on leaves and there is no heavy infestation.
Edited to add: How can I forget the other common names I appreciate more than these listed on this page? Old Man's Beard (Admittedly, which is used for other plants as well.) and Prairie Smoke on a Rope.
Posted by goldfinch4
(Ripon, Wisconsin) on Feb 22, 2012 8:04 AM concerning plant:
Vigorous plant, best suited for woodland or natural gardens.
Posted by HollyAnnS
(South Central Pa) on Aug 20, 2013 6:28 AM concerning plant:
A very lovely addition to my Zone 6 gardens. Adds wonderful late summer color and is attractive to pollinators. Needs plenty of room to grow, either on a large trellis or tumbling over a large bush.