If you’re looking for a native flowering vine which thrives
in a variety of light conditions, Virgin’s Bower clematis (Clematis
virginiana) may be the answer. Although the Virgin’s Bower vine doesn’t
produce the large, showy flowers of other clematis
varieties, like Nelly Moser or Jackmanii, it’s one of the few vines which
blooms proficiently in the shade.
Virgin’s Bower Facts
Virgin’s Bower clematis is native to eastern United States
and Canada. This perennial, deciduous vine can be found growing in moist
lowlands, thickets and woodlands, especially those bordering streams and ponds.
Virgin’s Bower vine readily climbs natural elements like trees and shrubs. It can
also spread along the surface of the ground, forming a dense foliage cover.
The Virgin’s Bower vine has several common names including
Italian clematis, woodbine and devil’s darning needle. Like other types of
clematis, it climbs by wrapping its leaf petioles around an upright support.
Here are some additional Virgin’s Bower facts:
- USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8
- Light Requirements: Full sun to shade
- Water Requirements: Moist soil
- Bloom time: Late summer or early fall
- Flower color: Pure white
- Height: Climbs to 20 feet (6 meters)
How to Grow Virgin’s Bower
Virgin’s Bower clematis is perfect for naturalizing those
woody or wilder areas of the garden. It’s fairly deer
resistant and will readily grow along manmade structures like fences and
trellises. The fragrant white flowers attract hummingbirds,
while the dense green foliage serves as nesting sites for birds. All parts of
the plant are toxic to mammals.
The Virgin’s Bower vine prefers a rich, fertile loamy or
silty soil with average to above average moisture levels. It grows best in
partial shade. Virgin’s Bower care is much easier than with other types of
clematis and it has no reported insect or disease problems.
Is Virgin’s Bower Clematis Invasive?
Virgin’s Bower is a fast-growing clematis which can
aggressively spread across the garden. It propagates easily from wind-dispersed
seeds and by the asexual formation of suckers. Luckily, these can be easily
controlled in the garden setting:
Unlike other types of clematis, Virgin’s bower is dioecious.
Seed production requires both a male and female plant. To prevent seed
formation, choose only male plants or purchase one Virgin’s Bower vine and
propagate through asexual means.
Virgin’s Bower is a species of clematis that blooms only on new
wood, so radical pruning
won’t affect flower production. It can be lightly pruned to control its shape
anytime during the growing season or trimmed back to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30
cm.) above the soil line in late fall or early spring.
Despite the need to control its vigorous growth, this
clematis is not considered harmful to trees. With control measures, they can be
a wonderful addition to a naturalized garden. Their profuse delicate white
blossoms add an innocent charm to any fall-flowering garden bed.
“Virgin’s Bower Facts – How To Grow Virgin’s Bower Clematis” was first posted here