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Clematis virginiana "Virgin's Bower" Seeds

Clematis virginiana

C. virginiana is in the Ranunculaceae family (Buttercups) and is native to much of the Eastern US and parts of Canada. 
The species is hardy to zone 4 but does best in zones 5 and higher. It is a vigorous and fast growing vine with attractive trifolate leaves.  Instead of tendrils this species grips and climbs by grasping with its leaves. Throughout the Summer months the vines are inundated with masses of the beautiful 1" white flowers.  C. virginiana blooms in such abundance that from a distance it appears as mounds of snow.  The flowers are pleasantly fragrant and make those warm Summer nights a sensory delight.  In late Summer the flowers give way to the seeds.  The seeds are achenes which have feathery protrusions.  The clusters of ripening seeds take on an attractive cottony appearance and are often used in floral arrangements.  This most showy of native plants is very rewarding to grow.  It will rapidly cover fences but is not invasive.  Since it is commonly found alongside country roads it has been given the name of Traveler's Joy...a fitting tribute since it is always a joyous event to locate a patch.  The species is all too rare in our neck of the woods but always a pleasure to find. 

Traditional & Modern Use
As an ethnobotanical this species has a very interesting history. 
Among the Cherokee the plant is considered sacred and is an ingredient in the ceremonial "Green Corn" medicine.  It is said that a poultice of the stems applied to the skin will induce brilliantly vivid and often lucid dreams! 


CHARCOAL TABLETS Release the Essence of this Plant
PRESERVE & DISPLAY Enjoy the Beauty & History of this Plant
NATURAL DYE Color for Art, Clothing & Crafts

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