Purple clematis Clematis viticella, photographed by Mirna & Attilio Marzorati.

Belongs within: Ranunculaceae.

Clematis is a genus of flowering vines found primarily in temperate regions of the world. Members include traveller's joy C. vitalba, widely grown as an ornamental but also known as an invasive species in many parts of the world.

Characters (from J. S. Pringle): Vines , ± woody, sometimes only at base, climbing by means of tendril-like petioles and leaf rachises, or erect, herbaceous perennials, from elongate rhizomes. Leaves cauline, opposite, simple or compound, sessile or petiolate. Leaf blade undivided or 1-3-pinnately or -ternately compound; leaf or leaflets cordate to orbiculate, oblong, lanceolate, or oblanceolate, lobed or unlobed, margins entire or toothed. Inflorescences axillary and/or terminal, 1-many-flowered cymes or panicles or flowers solitary or in fascicles, to 15 cm; bracts present and leaflike or ± scalelike or absent, not forming involucre. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, radially symmetric; sepals not persistent in fruit, 4, white, blue, violet, red, yellow, or greenish, plane, ovate to obovate or linear, 6-60 mm; petals absent; sometimes anther-bearing staminodes between sepals and stamens; stamens many; filaments filiform to flattened; pistils 5-150, simple; ovule 1 per pistil; beak present. Fruits achenes, aggregate, sessile, lenticular, nearly terete, or flattened-ellipsoid, sides not prominently veined; beak terminal, straight or curved, 12-110 mm. x = 8.

<==Clematis Linnaeus 1753 A61
    |--C. (sect. Clematis) vitalba BVJ01
    |--C. (sect. Atragene) alpina BVJ01
    |--C. (sect. Viorna) pitcheri BVJ01
    `--C. sect. Viticella [incl. C. sect. Patentes] BVJ01
         |--C. patens BVJ01
         `--C. viticella Linnaeus 1753 BVJ01
              |--C. viticella ssp. viticella (see below for synonymy) BVJ01
              `--C. viticella ssp. campaniflora (Brotero) Font Quer ex Bolòs & Vigo 1984 (see below for synonymy) BVJ01

Clematis incertae sedis:
  C. afoliata Buchan. 1871 [incl. C. aphylla Colenso 1887] A61
  C. aristata GK00
  C. australis Kirk 1899 A61
    |--C. a. var. australis A61
    `--C. a. var. rutifolia (Hooker) Allan 1961 (see below for synonymy) A61
  C. brachiata M30
  C. cirrhosa Y98
  C. coriacea C45
  C. dioica J87
  C. fawcettii H90
  C. flammula Y98
  C. florida BVJ01
  C. foetida Raoul 1846 [incl. C. foetida var. depauperata Hooker 1852, C. parkinsoniana Col. 1880] A61
  C. foetidissima BKS98
  C. forsteri Gmel. 1791 (see below for synonymy) A61
  C. fremontii D51
    |--C. f. ssp. fremontii D51
    `--C. f. ssp. riehlii D51
  C. glycinoides C08
    |--C. g. var. glycinoides H90
    `--C. g. var. submutica H90
  C. hookeriana Allan 1961 [=C. hexasepala Hook. f. 1852 non DC. 1817] A61
    |--C. h. var. hookeriana A61
    `--C. h. var. lobulata Allan 1961 non C. paniculata var. lobulata Kirk 1899 A61
  C. lanuginosa BVJ01
  C. lasiantha H93
  C. leschenaultiana DC. 1818 [incl. C. leschenaultiana var. denticulata Merr. 1927] WC00
  C. ligusticifolia H93
  C. marata Armst. f. 1881 A61
  C. microphylla H90
    |--C. m. var. microphylla H90
    `--C. m. var. leptophylla H90
  C. montana O88
  C. oweniae M30
  C. paniculata Gmel. 1791 A61 (see below for synonymy)
  C. parviflora Cunn. 1840 A61 (see below for synonymy)
  C. pauciflora H93
  C. petriei Allan 1961 A61
  C. pickeringii LK14
  C. pubescens RL05
  C. quadribracteolata Colenso 1882 A61
  C. recta ED02
  C. stanleyi [=Anemone stanleyi] M30
  C. texensis BVJ01
  C. tibetana O88
  C. virginiana EBS98

Clematis australis var. rutifolia (Hooker) Allan 1961 [=C. colensoi var. rutaefolia Hook. f. 1864, C. hexasepala var. rutaefolia Hook. f. 1852] A61

Clematis forsteri Gmel. 1791 [incl. C. colensoi Hook. f. 1852, C. hexapetala Linnaeus 1781 non Pallas 1776, C. hexasepala DC. 1817] A61

Clematis paniculata Gmel. 1791 A61 [incl. C. paniculata var. decomposita Kirk 1899 A61, C. indivisa Willd. 1800 A61, C. integrifolia Forst. f. 1786 non Linnaeus 1753 A61, C. paniculata var. linearis Kirk 1899 A61, C. paniculata var. lobulata Kirk 1899 A61, C. indivisa var. lobulata C06]

Clematis parviflora Cunn. 1840 A61 [incl. C. cunninghamii MM04, C. parviflora var. depauperata Hooker 1864 non Hooker 1852 A61, C. hillii Col. 1899 A61, C. parviflora var. trilobata Kirk 1899 A61]

Clematis viticella ssp. campaniflora (Brotero) Font Quer ex Bolòs & Vigo 1984 [=C. campaniflora Brotero 1804, C. viticella var. campaniflora (Brotero) Willkomm & Lange 1880] BVJ01

Clematis viticella Linnaeus 1753 ssp. viticella [=Viticella deltoidea Moench 1794; incl. C. baccata Persoon 1806, C. viticella ssp. sibthorpii var. coriacea Kuntze 1885, C. lugubris Salisbury 1796, C. viticella ssp. sibthorpii var. obtusiloba Kuntze 1885, C. revoluta Desfontaines ex Steudel 1821, C. viticella ssp. revoluta (Desfontaines) Kuntze 1885, C. viticella ssp. revoluta var. scandens Kuntze 1885, C. viticella ssp. sibthorpii Kuntze 1885, C. viticella ssp. sibthorpii var. villosa Kuntze 1885] BVJ01

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[BKS98] Baars, R., D. Kelly & A. D. Sparrow. 1998. Liane distribution within native forest remnants in two regions of the South Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 22 (1): 71–85.

[BVJ01] Brandenburg, W. A., J. G. van de Vooren & C. E. Jarvis. 2001. Lectotypification and description of Clematis viticella L. (Ranunculaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 135 (1): 13–23.

[C08] Cambage, R. H. 1908. Notes on the native flora of New South Wales. Part VI. Deepwater to Torrington and Emmaville. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 33 (1): 45–65, pls 1–2.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[C45] Colenso, W. 1845. Memoranda of an excursion, made in the Northern Island of New Zealand, in the summer of 1841-2; intended as a contribution towards the natural productions of the New Zealand groupe: with particular reference to their botany. Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science 2: 210–234.

[D51] Dobzhansky, T. 1951. Genetics and the Origin of Species 3rd ed. Columbia University Press: New York.

[EBS98] Elliott, K. J., L. R. Boring & W. T. Swank. 1998. Changes in vegetation structure and diversity after grass-to-forest succession in a southern Appalachian watershed. American Midland Naturalist 140: 219–232.

[ED02] Evtushenko, L. I., L. V. Dorofeeva, V. I. Krausova, E. Y. Gavrish, S. G. Yashina & M. Takeuchi. 2002. Okibacterium fritillariae gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel genus of the family Microbacteriaceae. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 52: 987–993.

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323–402.

[H90] Harden, G. J. (ed.) 1990. Flora of New South Wales vol. 1. New South Wales University Press.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1–136.

[LK14] Lyons, M. N., G. J. Keighery, L. A. Gibson & T. Handasyde. 2014. Flora and vegetation communities of selected islands off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 205–244.

[MM04] Martin, N. A., & L. A. Mound. 2004. Host plants for some New Zealand thrips (Thysanoptera: Terebrantia). New Zealand Entomologist 27: 119–123.

[M30] Moss, C. E. 1930. Some natural hybrids of Clematis, Anemone, and Gerbera from the Transvaal. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 141: 36–40.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds) The Himalayan Plants vol. 1. The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19–46.

[RL05] Rafferty, C., & B. B. Lamont. 2005. Selective feeding by macropods on vegetation regenerating following fire. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 88 (4): 155–165.

[WC00] Wang R.-J. & Chen Z.-Y. 2000. New data of some Ranunculaceae plants in China. Acta Botanica Yunnanica 22: 126–128.

[Y98] Yannitsaros, A. 1998. Additions to the flora of Kithira (Greece) I. Willdenowia 28: 77–94.

Last updated: 3 April 2022.

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