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CLEMATIS terniflora

Image of Clematis terniflora

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

CLEMATIS terniflora

Plant Common Name

Sweet Autumn Clematis, Sweet Autumn Virginsbower

General Description

Sweet autumn clematis is a very vigorous growing deciduous or semi-evergreen vine native to Japan. Throughout the summer its dark green foliage canopy can provide dense shade and screening on arbors and trellises. In the fall it is covered with small, creamy white star-like blooms which give off a wonderful sweet fragrance. Later in the fall, it is covered with silvery, downy seed heads for added visual interest.

Plant the sweet autumn clematis in a sunny location, but will perform remarkably well even with considerable shade. Any average garden soil and typical moisture regimen will suffice. Any pruning of this vigorous vine should only be done in the late fall or very early spring so that flowering is not reduced on any new growth. It will also self-sow and can colonize a landscape if not managed. Grow it on large sturdy posts, fences or trellises, or (cautiously) growing up within the branches of an open-canopy tree. This vine will also form a dense, lush groundcover if deprived of vertical supports.

This plant is often confused with the similar New Zealand native clematis, Clematis paniculata.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vine/Liana

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m (18)

  • Width

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m (8)

  • Bloom Time

    Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Silver

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Groundcover, Rock Garden / Wall, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes