Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Japanese Virgin's-bower - Clematis terniflora   de Candolle
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Section 6 » Order Ranunculales » Family Ranunculaceae
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Authorde Candolle
DistributionMostly the Piedmont and Mountains; also the Sandhills and the outer Coastal Plain. Disjunct to Roanoke Island and Nags Head Woods, Dare County. First collected in NC in 1966 in Madison and Brunswick counties. Certainly will be found in many more counties than the map shows.

Native of eastern Asia; in N.A. the southeastern states north to MA.
AbundanceFrequent. Apparently spreading rapidly in recent decades.
HabitatAlluvial woods near rivers and streams, margins of these habitats where roads intersect, roadside thickets, abandoned city lot (Raleigh), maritime forests, waterfront (Brunswick Co.), lakeshore (L. Waccamaw), campus escapes.
PhenologyFlowering mid-August - mid-October. Very fragrant!
IdentificationJapanese Virgin's-bower is often smelled before seen, due to the abundant, sweetly fragrant flowers. Leaves are 3-5 lobed, each leaflet entire (lacking teeth, unlike our native fall-bloomers); some leaflets can be mottled in color, with a pale midrib. The leaflets tend to be thick and shiny. Don't confuse this with the native C. virginiana and C. catesbyana, which have strongly toothed leaflets. All of these species have white flowers with 4-5 sepals.
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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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