Thank you for native plants!
All summer we featured invasive plants every Wednesday. Now, in the spirit of gratitude this November, it’s time to say “thank you” to our native plants.
Each week we’ll showcase a native plant that you might consider planting in your own garden. This week’s native plant is Clematis virginiana and it has plenty of fanciful names so choose your favorite: virgin’s bower, devil’s darning needles, and old man’s beard. This beauty will ramble over fences, trellises, and structures. In the fall tiny white fragrant flowers appear in snowy masses along the stems. After blooming, the plant puts on another show with wispy, thread-like seed heads that give the plant its many common names. (Scroll down for photos.)
The Minnesota Wildflower website waxes eloquent about C. virginiana:
“While Clematis hybrids are very popular in the nursery trade, this one is conspicuously absent, much due to its incredible vigor and small flower size. It should not be so easily overlooked. Most people think of trellises as a 2’x6″ meshed frame purchased at Menards or other garden center. I have strung wires from the base of older trees and strung them to the lower branches and let the vine go where it will. The effect can be stunning—a large vertical column of foliage and effervescent white blooms with very interesting seed heads into winter. This provides untypical vertical structure and an excellent habitat for insects and birds in your garden.”
C virginiana flowers wide angle-M Demmon

Clematis virginiana in bloom. Photo by M. Demmon.

C virginiana-climbing-L Wallis

Clematis virginiana climbing. Photo by L. Wallis.

Clematis seed heads

Clematis virginiana seed heads. Photo by John Metzler.

Clematis_virginiana_SB Johnny

Clematis virginiana flowers. Photo by SB Johnny.

clematis-virginiana-covering structure-Minnesota Wildflowers

Clematis virginiana covering a structure. Photo by Minnesota Wildflowers.