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TEXAS CLEMATIS Clematis texensis Ranunculaceae
Also called Scarlet Clematis, Texas Clematis, Leatherflower, Texas Leatherflower, Pipe-vine
HEIGHT: to 9 feet
WIDTH: 1 to 2 feet
HABIT: Scarlet clematis is a beautiful, delicate deciduous vine that grows only in the Edwards Plateau, along streams, on shady limestone ledges, or on rich bottomlands. The brilliant red, urn-shaped flowers that appear in spring and early summer are actually sepals that curve backward at the tips. It is woody at the base but its stems are herbaceous, so it dies to the ground in the winter and blooms from new growth in the spring. Like all vining clematis, scarlet clematis needs a support for its twining leaf stalks, and likes to have its roots cool and shaded but its foliage in sunlight.
CULTURE: It will do best in somewhat shaded, well-drained soil. It is extremely cold-hardy, surviving as far north as zone 5. This beautiful clematis, endemic only to Central Texas, is an uncommon plant even there, and it is rare in cultivation, although hybrids such as 'Duchess of Albany', 'Etoile Rose', and 'Princess of Wales' are more commonly available. Drought tolerant and good in most any soil.