Clematis terniflora

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Sweet autumn clematis
Virgin's bower (Clematis terniflora).jpg
Blooming vine
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Clematis
Species: C. terniflora
Binomial name
Clematis terniflora

Clematis terniflora (sweet autumn clematis, sweet autumn virginsbower, 圆锥铁线莲 yuan zhui tie xian lian) is a plant in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. It is native to countries in northeastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia (Siberia), Taiwan).[1] It was introduced into the United States in the late 1800s as an ornamental garden plant, and has naturalized in many of the eastern states. It is considered a Category II invasive plant in New Jersey, South Carolina and some other eastern states, meaning invading native plant communities but not yet seen as displacing native species.[2][3]


Clematis terniflora is a vine with opposite, pinnately compound leaves, on climbing stems. The flowers are white, borne in fall.[2] The blooms are nicely fragrant and visited by bees. In late fall the fertilized flowers become fruit (seed) clusters of 5-6 fruits connected at the heads and each having a long white tail. As these dry, the color of the fruits fade and the tail becomes feather-like. In the spring the fruits detach and are dispersed by wind.


Prefers full sun, but will prosper and bloom in partial shade. These woody-stemmed plants can be pruned in fall or early spring to within a couple of feet from the ground, and will vine up fence, trellis, arbors (or other plants) to heights of 10 to 30 feet. Can also be allowed to sprawl along the ground as a dense ground cover. Blooms on new growth. No serious insect or disease problems. Does not require fertilizer or frequent watering, although will benefit from a low nitrogen fertilizer such as 5-10-10 in spring. Considered deer resistant.[2][4]


  1. ^ "Clematis terniflora". Flora of China. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Clematis terniflora Missouri Botanical Garden
  3. ^ Sweet Autumn Virginsbower (Clematis terniflora) Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States
  4. ^ Sweet autumn clematis The Morton Arboritum, Lisle, IL.

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