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   Clematis terniflora (vine, climber)     
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      Clematis terniflora flowers and foliage (Photo: Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, - Click for full size   Clematis terniflora (Photo: Richard Webb, Self-employed horticulurist, - Click for full size   Clematis terniflora (Photo: Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, - Click for full size
    Taxonomic name: Clematis terniflora DC
    Synonyms: Clematis dioscoreifolia (Levl. & Vaniot), Clematis dioscoreifolia var. robusta [(Carr.) Rehd.], Clematis flammula var robusta (Carriere), Clematis maximowicziana (Franch. & Savigny), Clematis paniculata (Thunb.), Clematis recta subsp paniculata (Thunb.) Kuntze, Clematis terniflora var robusta (Carriere) Tamura
    Common names: leather leaf clematis, sweet autumn virginsbower, yam-leafed clematis
    Organism type: vine, climber
    Clematis terniflora is a perennial vine that is frequently used as a landscaping plant. It is invasive, however, and displays aggressive growth in many areas of North America. C. terniflora can climb nearly 10 metres high, smothering trees and pulling down telephone poles.
    Clematis terniflora is a semi-evergreen climber or groundcover with semi-woody steps up to 4 inches. C. terniflora displays compound, opposite leaves, of 3-5 leaflets with a glossy, stiff appearance (Floridata, 2007). Leaflets are "ovate or broadly lanceolate to narrowly deltate" in shape (efloras, undated). White, monoecious flowers with 4 sepals on branching panicles. Flowers are bisexual or unisexual with in the same inflorescense (efloras, undated). Flowers are star shaped, highly fragrant, and approximately 3.18 centimeters across (Floridata, 2007). C. terniflora is an extremely showy flower in summer, to an exten that "vines can be so laden with billowy masses of white flowers that they look like they're covered in snow" (Floridata, 2007). C. terniflora's bark is initially smooth and light brown, later developing long splits and shreddy long strips" (CNR, 2006)
    Occurs in:
    coastland, natural forests, ruderal/disturbed
    Habitat description
    Like many climbers, Clematis terniflora prefers its roots in the shade and its foliage in full sun (Floridata, 2007). C. terniflora can grow in light (sandy), medium (loamy), or heavy (clay) soils as long as the medium is fairly well drained. C. ternifloraalso tolerates a variety of pH, including highly alkaline settings (PFAF, 2004). Because C. terniflora lacks the root hairs or tendrils that most vines use to climb, C. terniflora must either lean and be supported on the trees it overtakes, or grow as a thick groundcover (Kemper, 2007). C. terniflora frequently occurs in hedgerows, forest margins, slopes, supported by rocks near coastal areas, and in disturbed areas (PFAF, 2004).
    General impacts
    Clematis terniflora is used as a landscape ornamental, although its popularity is decreasing as landscapers realize its invasive potential. C. terniflora has the potential to climb 7.6-9.1 metres and smother fully grown trees, or, if necessary support structure is absent, to sprawl along the ground 15-30cm tall and 3 metres wide. Ground cover form of C terniflora will choke out weeds or other plants trying to spring from ground. (Floridata, 2007)
    According to Plants for a Future (2007) Clematis terniflora is used as a folk treatment for corneal opacity. PFAF (2007) also notes that young shoots of C. terniflora can be eaten. C. terniflora is widely used as landscape ornamental. USDA-WOW (2007) notes that goats will eat C. terniflora but prefer it dried or dead.
    Geographical range
    Native range: Asia (Taaffe, 2000)
    Known introduced range: North America, Europe (Clemson, undated)
    Introduction pathways to new locations
    For ornamental purposes:
    Landscape/fauna "improvement":

    Local dispersal methods
    For ornamental purposes (local):
    Clematis terniflora reproduces both vegetatively and by seed. Ripe seeds germinate within 1-9 months. Internodal cuttings are also successful (PFAF, 2007).
    Lifecycle stages
    Clematis terniflora is a perennial plant (CNR, 2006).
    Reviewed by: Kenneth A. Langeland, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
    Compiled by: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
    Last Modified: Monday, 2 August 2010

ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland