western virgin's bower

Clematis ligusticifolia

Summary 2

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 Old-man's Beard may also refer to C. vitalba, and Virgin's bower 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.

Western Virgin's Bower 3

Linh Chia. Botanical:
Name category:
Family: Ranunculaceae.
Common name: Western white clematis.
Scientific name: Clematis ligusticifolia.
Traditional name: Pepper Vine.
Also known as Western White Virgin’s Bower, Creek Clematis, Creekside Virgin’s Bower, Deciduous Traveler’s-joy, Old-man’s Beard, Pipestems, Pepper Vine, or Yerba de Chiva (Goatbeard plant).
Botanical characteristics:
Leaves are pinnately and compound together. They have around 5-7 leaflets.
Compound leaf usually has 5-7 ovate leaflets.
Strong semi-woody stem, about 15- 20 feet tall.
The flower is leafy-bracted paniculate. Lack of petal but have full four sepals.
The female flower has both pistil and interfile stamen. The male flower only has stamen.
Sepals are white, oval-lanceolate shape.
Fruits are delicate, fluffy achenes.
Light requirement: sun, part shade. Especially in afternoon shade. Usually, mulch helps to cool the roots when the weather is too humid.
Adapted to Coarse Texture Soil.
Medium Drought Tolerance.
Multiple stem growth form.
Seeds ripen from September to October.
Toxic principle: Anemonin (C10H804).
b. Ecological information:
Habitat: develop in the grey sage desert, yellow pine, along creek bottoms (water), lakeshores, in various forests and Ponderosa Pine Forest. It mostly occurs in wetlands and non-wetland. Disturb environment also affect the plant’s growth badly, because the plant is not able to grow through harsh conditions (flood, fire, tsunami, etc.)
Distribution: This plant grows throughout western North America. It also can be found in British Columbia and the west side of southern Washington and Oregon, as well as in California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.
Popular native areas: New Mexico, Arizona, Texas.

Effect of ecology: This plant usually attracts birds, hummingbirds, bee and butterflies. Bird uses the baldachin part of the plant (bud, sepal) to use as a cover for their nest. The silky seed is also the perfect tool to build the network. Insects usually build their net on the surface of the leaf. Bee prefers to pollinate on the oval part of the flower.
c. Ethnobotanical information:
White western clematis is also known as the “Pepper Vine. People used this name in reference to the bitter, peppery taste of the stem and leaves. Native people chewed this plant as a treatment for sore throat and cold. The stem part was also used for making convey bags and bowstrings. The cataplasms part of this plant uses to treat wounds, bruises, swelling, painful joints, chest pain, and backache. The root parts are used for shampoos. The mashed roots were put in horse nostrils to activate the animals.
There is no toxic damage report of this species, but its genus has a high hazard level. Some species in this genus can cause mouth pain if eaten, causing the burn to sensation and ulcers. It can also cause a burning sensation and redness skin.

Work Citations
1. Plants Profile for Clematis Ligusticifolia (Western White Clematis), plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CLLI2.
2. Habitatdana. “Western White Clematis, Clematis Ligusticifolia.” Native Plants PNW, 4 Jan. 2016, nativeplantspnw.com/western-white-clematis-clematis-ligusticifolia/.
3. “Plant Database.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin, www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=clli2.
4. “Western Clematis, Western White Clematis.” Western Clematis, Western White Clematis: Clematis Ligusticifolia (Synonyms: Clematis Brevifolia, Clematis Ligusticifolia Var. Brevifolia, Clematis Ligusticifolia Var. Ligusticifolia, Clematis Neomexicana, Clematis Suksdorfii), science.halleyhosting.com/nature/basin/5petal/butter/clematis/ligusticifolia.htm.
5. “Western White Clematis - Clematis Ligusticifolia.” Web Stats, montana.plant-life.org/cgi-bin/species03.cgi?Ranunculaceae_Clematisligusticifolia.
6. Southwest, The American. “Clematis Ligusticifolia, Western White Clematis.” The American Southwest, www.americansouthwest.net/plants/wildflowers/clematis-ligusticifolia.html.
Linh Chi
Junior Year
Menaul School

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) wingedchimera, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/24375613
  2. Adapted by linhchi1208 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clematis_ligusticifolia
  3. (c) linhchi1208, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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