Alpine Clematis Clematis alpina

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Austrian clematis


Clematis alpina, commonly known as Alpine Clematis, is a deciduous climbing plant known for its charming and delicate appearance. Its stems are woody, and they twine gracefully around supports, which enables the plant to climb up and sprawl over any adjoining plants, structures, or trellises. The leaves of the Alpine Clematis are divided into leaflets with a toothed margin, and they bear a bright, fresh green color. They bring a lush look to the vine as they spread out. The true stars of the Alpine Clematis are its flowers. These blossoms are nodding, meaning they hang down in a bell-like fashion, and they typically bloom in a beautiful range of colors from a serene blue to a vibrant purple. The outer surface of the petals often has a silvery sheen, while the inside is often more vivid. Each flower is composed of four petal-like sepals that are elongated and taper to a delicate point. Some varieties may have more sepals, creating a fuller appearance. In the center of the flower, there is a tuft of stamens which are quite showy and add to the ornamental value of the blossoms. After the flowering season, the plant produces fluffy, plume-like seed heads which are also visually interesting and can add a touch of whimsy to the garden landscape. Overall, the appearance of Alpine Clematis is marked by its gentle and graceful demeanor, making it a favorite among gardeners who wish to add a touch of refinement and floral beauty to their outdoor spaces.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Alpine Clematis, Alpine Virgin's Bower.

    • Common names

      Clematis alpina subsp. sibirica, Clematis sibirica, Atragene alpina, Atragene sibirica, Clematis alpina var. sibirica.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as the Alpine Clematis contains toxic compounds that can be harmful if ingested. While it may not be severely toxic, ingesting the plant can lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The sap from the Alpine Clematis may also cause skin irritation and dermatitis upon contact. It is advisable to handle this plant with care and to avoid ingesting any part of it.

    • To pets

      Alpine Clematis has the potential to be toxic to pets if ingested. The plant contains irritant glycosides which can cause symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and mouth ulcers. Exposure to the sap can also result in skin irritation. It is recommended to keep pets away from this plant to avoid possible poisoning.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters)

    • Spread

      2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Clematis alpina, commonly known as Alpine clematis, adds aesthetic beauty to gardens with its colorful and abundant blooms.
    • Attracts Wildlife: Alpine clematis attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies, supporting local biodiversity.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: Can be used on fences, trellises, and arbors, adding vertical interest to garden designs.
    • Seasonal Interest: Provides early spring flowers, often when other plants have not yet bloomed, offering seasonal variation.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Alpine clematis requires minimal care beyond occasional pruning, making it suitable for low-maintenance gardens.
    • Hardiness: It is resilient to cold climates, being hardy in many regions where other plants may not thrive.
    • Privacy: When grown on structures, it can provide privacy as it creates a natural screen.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Training Aid for Climbing Plants: Clematis alpina can be used as a living support structure for other, less vigorous climbing plants that may benefit from the lattice-like growth pattern of its vines.
    • Landscape Art: With its beautiful blooms and climbing habit, gardeners and landscapers may use Clematis alpina to create living walls or picturesque arches as a form of outdoor art.
    • Education and Research: This species can be utilized in educational settings, such as botanical gardens, to teach about plant growth habits and breeding techniques for climbing plants.
    • Photography Backdrop: The attractive flowers and foliage of Clematis alpina make it an excellent backdrop for garden photography, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of images.
    • Dye Production: The pigments in Clematis alpina petals could potentially be used to create natural dyes for fabric, though this is not a common use.
    • Cultural Symbolism: In some cultures, Clematis alpina may be used in ceremonies or as a symbol in art and literature, representing concepts like beauty or resilience.
    • Frost Protection: Strategically planting Clematis alpina near other sensitive species can provide a slight temperature moderation effect on cold nights, possibly reducing frost damage to neighboring plants.
    • Noise Reduction: When grown on fences or trellises, dense foliage of Clematis alpina can act as a natural sound barrier for a more peaceful garden environment.
    • Wildlife Shelter: The intertwined vines and foliage offer shelter and nesting opportunities for small birds and beneficial insects within a garden ecosystem.
    • Erosion Control: The root system of Clematis alpina can help stabilize soil on slopes, potentially reducing soil erosion in hilly or sloped gardens.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Clematis is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Clematis is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Ingenuity: Clematis alpina is known for its ability to adapt and grow in difficult mountainous terrains, symbolizing the human quality of ingenuity and resourcefulness.
    • Mental Beauty: With its delicate, nodding flowers, it is often seen as a symbol of intellectual attractiveness and the beauty of thoughts and ideas.
    • Spiritual Pursuit: The upward growth and climbing nature of alpine clematis can be viewed as a symbol of spiritual ascension and striving for higher realms of consciousness.
    • Creative Inspiration: As a plant that thrives in spring, it represents inspiration and is thought to stimulate creativity in arts and literature.
    • Overcoming Challenges: The alpine clematis is also a symbol for overcoming difficulties, as it successfully grows in challenging alpine climates.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Alpine Clematis requires consistent moisture to thrive, but it's important to avoid overwatering which can lead to root rot. During the active growing season in spring and summer, water this vine once a week with approximately one gallon of water, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. In the fall and winter, reduce watering to every few weeks or when the soil feels dry to the touch about an inch below the surface, as growth slows down and the plant requires less water. During hot spells or drought, you may need to water more frequently to keep the soil from drying out completely.

  • sunLight

    Alpine Clematis flourishes best in a spot that receives partial shade to full sun, meaning it should be exposed to direct sunlight for at least six hours a day. However, it's important to protect the plant's base and roots from intense midday sun by providing shade or mulch, as keeping the root zone cool and shaded ensures better growth and flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Alpine Clematis is cold-hardy and can tolerate winter temperatures down to about -40 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for many climates. Ideally, daytime temperatures for optimal growth range from 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to shield it from extreme heat above 95 degrees Fahrenheit as high temperatures might affect the plant negatively.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Alpine Clematis is important for encouraging robust growth and promoting more flowers. Prune lightly after the first flowering in late spring to early summer by removing dead or weak stems. This plant blooms on old wood, so avoid heavy pruning which can reduce blooming. The best time for major pruning, if necessary, is late winter or early spring when the plant is dormant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Alpine clematis thrives best in a well-draining, fertile soil mix with a pH of around 6.5. For the ideal mix, combine two parts garden soil, one part well-rotted manure or compost, and one part gritty material such as perlite or coarse sand to ensure good drainage. Mulching the base with organic matter also helps retain moisture and keep roots cool.

  • plantRepotting

    Alpine clematis typically does not require frequent repotting and can often remain in the same pot for several years. However, if the plant outgrows its container or the soil becomes exhausted, it should be repotted. This is generally done every 2 to 3 years in spring before active growth begins.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Alpine clematis prefers moderate humidity levels but is tolerant of a range of conditions. It does not require the high humidity that some tropical plants need and can adapt to the humidity levels typically found in temperate climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place alpine clematis in bright, indirect light and keep cool.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, support with a trellis, and protect roots with mulch.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Clematis alpina, commonly known as alpine clematis, begins its life cycle with seed germination, which requires a period of cold stratification to break dormancy. The plant then grows a root system and sprouts, developing into a juvenile with a vine-like habit, though growth may be slow initially. As it matures, it produces long, leafy stems that climb and twine around supports. Clematis alpina flowers in the spring, displaying nodding, bell-shaped flowers that range in color from blue to purple. After pollination, typically by bees or other insects, the plant sets seed in fluffy, plume-like seed heads. Perennial in nature, it enters a period of dormancy in the winter, with the roots surviving underground to sprout again the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method for propagating Clematis alpina, commonly known as alpine clematis, is by softwood cuttings. This is typically done in the early summer when the plant's new growth is just beginning to harden but is still flexible. Shoots should be around 4 to 6 inches in length, which is approximately 10 to 15 centimeters. The cuttings are taken just below a leaf joint, with the lower leaves removed and the topmost leaves retained. To encourage rooting, the base of the cutting can be dipped in rooting hormone powder before placing it in a well-drained potting mix. The pots are then covered with plastic to maintain high humidity and placed in indirect light until roots have developed, usually within a few weeks. Regular monitoring is necessary to ensure the soil remains moist but not overly wet.