California Native Plant Society
Tap map to see plants native to location
Add
All plants for California > Clematis ligusticifolia >
Please enter either the common name or the botanical name of any native California plant species to see it's plant record

Loading....
Virgin's Bower
  • Added Add to My Plant List
Clematis ligusticifolia
  

Zoom To My AddressZoom To California Estimated Plant Range



About Virgin's Bower (Clematis ligusticifolia) Clematis ligusticifolia is a climbing, spreading vine with showy flowers. It is also known as Old-man's Beard and Yerba de Chiva, and Virgin's bower, (though the last name may also refer to C. lasiantha). It is native to North America where it is widespread across the western United States in streamside thickets, wooded hillsides, and coniferous forests up to 4,000 feet. It was called "pepper vine" by early travelers and pioneers of the American Old West. They used it as a pepper substitute to spice up food since real black pepper (Piper nigrum) was a costly and rarely obtainable spice. Like the rest of the Clematis genus, it contains essential oils and compounds which are extremely irritating to the skin and mucous membrames. Unlike Black Pepper or Capsicum, however, the compounds in clematis cause internal bleeding of the digestive tract if ingested internally in large amounts. The plants are essentially toxic. Despite its toxicity, Native Americans used very small amounts of clematis as an effective treatment for migraine headaches and nervous disorders. It was also used as an effective treatment of skin infections. A whole-plant hot water extraction was used to treat eczema, and a leaf compress is used to treat chest pain, sores, and boils.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Vine, Perennial herb

Max. Height
10 - 30 ft (3.0 - 9.1 m)

Max. Width
2 - 6 in (5 - 15cm)

Form
Spreading

Fragrance
Slight

Growth Rate
Moderate

Dormancy
Summer Deciduous

Leaves
Bright green, palmate with three lobes

Flower Color
Cream, White

Flowering Season
Summer
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter


Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Site Type
Stream Edges, wet places

Sun
Full Shade, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-7' - 14019'

Annual Precip. ?
4.1" - 89.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 4.07"

Coldest Month ?
9.1° F - 56.5° F

Hottest Month ?
32.8° F - 84.1° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 38.61 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of sand and clay

Soil PH
5 - 8

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Serpentine Soil

Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -20 - -10° F

Sunset Zones ?
1*, 2*, 3*, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
This plant is often found climbing up through larger shrubs such as Birch (Betula species), Ceanothus species, Dogwood (Cornus species), Coffeeberry (Frangulas species), Ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus), Wild Rose (Rosa species), and Western Blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum ssp. occidentale)

Wildlife Attracted
Attracts bees and butterflies

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Low
Moderate - High


Popularity
Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month, 2x/month
No Summer Water
1x/month
2x/month
3x/month
1/week
Keep moist


Common uses
Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Clematis ligusticifolia var. ligusticifolia|Clematis ligusticifolia var. brevifolia|Clematis ligusticifolia var. californica

Common Names
Yerba De Chiva, Western White Clemitis, Western White Clematis, California Clematis


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

Sign in to your Calscape Account X




Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address
Password

Sign In


Copyright © 1999-2014 California Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.