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Vase-flower, Sugarbowl, Leather-flower, Hairy Clematis - Clematis hirsutissima


Family: Ranunculaceae - Buttercup family Genus Common Name: Leather Flower Native Status: Native
Clematis hirsutissima - Vase-flower, Sugarbowl, Leather-flower, Hairy Clematis. When I saw this flower in the campground at Ponderosa State Park I immediately thought of Clematis viorna due to the shape of the flower, except that unlike C. viorna this plant is not a vine - all my prior Clematis experience - and it is hairy - the blossom of C. viorna is smooth and leathery. I then thought maybe this is Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum), but a quick look in my copy of Idaho Mountain Wildflowers - A. Scott Earle confirmed the Clematis connection - Clematis hirsutissima. There are two varieties of this species - var. hirsutissima and var. scottii. The one presented here is var. hirsutissima.

Found in:
AZ, CO, ID, MT, NE, NM, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY

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Clematis hirsutissima

Distribution of Clematis hirsutissima in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 25 Mar 2017). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Ponderosa State Park, Valley County, ID Date: 2012-May-31Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The blossom of Clematis hirsutissima looks like a silvery-purple upside down vase. The shape gives it one of its common names - Vase Flower. The silvery sheen is caused by the many hairs on the blossom - referenced by the Hairy Clematis common name, and the species epithet - hirsutissima.
Clematis hirsutissima

Site: Ponderosa State Park, Valley County, ID Date: 2012-May-31Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The stems of Clematis hirsutissima are hairy, although sometimes very sparsely. The leaves are 2 or 3 pinnate and are usually deeply lobed.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Clematis hirsutissima

Site: Ponderosa State Park, Valley County, ID Date: 2012-May-31Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
This blossom was resting on a leaf, providing a view from a different angle. Clematis hirsutissima is in the Viorna subgenus of Clematis. The 18 species in this subgenus found in North America are characterized by having leathery sepals forming an urn- or bell-shaped perianth
Click on the photo for a larger image
Clematis hirsutissima

Site: Ponderosa State Park, Valley County, ID Date: 2012-May-31Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
One of the sepals had dropped off of this blossom, providing a cutaway view inside.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Clematis hirsutissima

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer