University of Alberta Vascular Plant Herbarium (ALTA) - University of Alberta Museums University of Alberta Museums

Species Details

Scientific Name: Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.

Common Name: blue clematis, purple clematis, mountain clematis, purple virgin’s bower

General Description: Perennial vine, woody, climbing to 2 m or trailing on ground to 5 m

Leaves: Opposite, compound; leaflets 3, egg-shaped to lance-shaped, 2-8 cm long, margins entire to crenate, occasionally wavy, net-veined.

Flowers: Inflorescence solitary; flowers radially symmetric; sepals 4, distinct, lance-shaped, 3-5 cm long, purple or blue; petals absent; stamens 20-50, outer stamens petaloid; pistils 40-175, ovary superior

Fruits and Seeds: Aggregate of achenes, elliptic,beaks 3-5 cm long, brown, feathery-hairy; seeds 3 mm

Phenology: Flowers from April to June

Notes: Similar species:
Clematis viginiana
Potentially confused with Clematis virginiana, which has unisexual flowers and a white perianth.

Medical uses:
The Okanagan-Colville Indians used the leaves in a treatment for sweaty feet.

Ethno-botanical uses:
The Okanagan-Colville Indians used a tea mixture including the leaves and stem in a shampoo, to prevent grey hairs.

This species is thought to contain protoanemonin compounds, and if ingested, will cause severe pain, burning sensation, and ulcers in mouth. Commonly causes skin irritation and redness if touched.

Range/Distribution: Alberta: Southern Alberta, especially prominent in Calgary, Red Deer, and Sylvan Lake; common in the Rocky Mountain range
CAN (BC, NB, NS, ON, QC, SK); USA (CO, CT, DE, IA, ID, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY)

Publications (7) Down

Authorship (1) Down

Specimen List (12) Down

Map Distribution Up

Only the first 500 specimens found will be plotted on the map.

Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Fabijan, Dorothy M.   
2015-08-07   
Accession No. 137948      
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Schwarz, Arthur G.   
1997-05-29   
Accession No. 112147      
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Fehr, A.; Jensen, B.   
1982-06-16   
Accession No. 129992   

Note: Latitude and longitude of this specimen extrapolated from label information.   
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Fabijan, Dorothy M.   
1981-05-22   
Accession No. 109190      
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Miller, Brittney   
2011-08-31   
Accession No. 135216      
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Fabijan, Dorothy M.; Pigott, Kailli   
2009-06-17   
Accession No. 122025      
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Campbell, J. A.   
1967-07-19   
Accession No. 129989   

Note: Latitude and longitude of this specimen extrapolated from label information.   
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
MacIsaac, Dan   
1981-07-26   
Accession No. 129991   

Note: Latitude and longitude of this specimen extrapolated from label information.   
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Campbell, J. A.   
1967-07-19   
Accession No. 129990   

Note: Latitude and longitude of this specimen extrapolated from label information.   
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Fabijan, Dorothy M.   
2007-07-10   
Accession No. 118361      
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Fabijan, Dorothy M.; Pigott, Kailli   
2009-07-24   
Accession No. 122026      
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.   
Springer, Kyle R.   
2014-08-03   
Accession No. 137850