Ground clematis Clematis recta

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
ground clematis


Clematis recta, commonly referred to as "upright clematis" or "ground virginsbower," is a perennial plant that stands out due to its unique growth habit and striking floral display. Its stems are upright and sturdy, yet they may occasionally require support to maintain their vertical form. The leaves of this plant are bright green and typically feature a compound structure, composed of several small leaflets arranged opposite each other along the stem, creating an overall feathery and lush appearance. During the blooming period, the upright clematis becomes particularly eye-catching with its profusion of flowers. These blossoms are shaped like delicate starbursts and can range in color from pearly white to soft lavender or pink, contributing to a cloud of color that is both elegant and whimsical. The petals are typically arranged in a radial pattern around a prominent center of contrasting stamens, which are often yellow or cream-colored, adding further visual interest. After the flowering phase, the plant produces attractive, fluffy seed heads that persist and add a textural element to the garden landscape. The continuous evolution of its appearance, from the unfurling of its leaves to the final display of its seed heads, makes the upright clematis a dynamic and appealing plant throughout the growing season. Its foliage and flowers create a lush backdrop or focal point for garden compositions without overwhelming other plantings with its size.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Ground Clematis, Erect Clematis, Upright Virgin's Bower

    • Common names

      Clematis erecta, Clematis campaniflora, Clematis recta var. campaniflora, Clematis recta var. dentata, Clematis recta var. integrifolia, Clematis recta var. heterophylla, Clematis recta var. obtusa.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Clematis, specifically Clematis recta, contains toxic compounds known as glycosides, which can be harmful if ingested. If parts of the clematis plant are eaten, they can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and salivation. In some cases, contact with the sap may cause skin irritation or dermatitis. Therefore, it is advisable to handle the plant with care and avoid ingesting any part of it to prevent these potential health issues.

    • To pets

      Clematis, which includes Clematis recta, is also toxic to pets like dogs and cats. The plant contains irritant glycosides that can lead to poisoning if any part of the plant is consumed. Symptoms of clematis poisoning in pets may include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and possible mouth or throat irritation. In severe cases, ingestion can cause lethargy or incoordination. Pet owners should keep their pets from chewing on or ingesting this plant to avoid these toxic effects.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Clematis recta, commonly known as Ground Clematis, provides aesthetic appeal with its showy blooms and ability to create a dense foliage cover.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers of Ground Clematis attract beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies, contributing to pollination in gardens.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: Ground Clematis can be used in a variety of garden settings, including borders, trellises, and as ground cover, offering flexibility for garden design.
    • Seasonal Interest: With its flowering season typically in late spring to early summer, Ground Clematis adds visual interest to the garden during this period.
    • Easy Propagation: Ground Clematis can be easily propagated by seed, cuttings, or layering, making it a cost-effective plant for garden expansion.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Ground Clematis exhibits some drought tolerance, reducing the need for frequent watering in certain climates.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Analgesic properties: Traditionally used to relieve pain, particularly headaches.
    • Anti-inflammatory: May be used to reduce inflammation in various conditions.
    • Diuretic effects: Has been used to promote the production of urine, aiding in the elimination of toxins from the body.
    • Sedative: Used in the past for its sedative effects on the nervous system.
    • Treatment for skin disorders: Applied topically to treat skin conditions such as ulcers and sores.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Garden Structures: Clematis recta is often used to create living structures in gardens due to its upright growth habit, providing support for lighter, intertwining plants.
    • Privacy Screens: When planted closely together, Clematis recta can form dense screens, offering privacy in garden spaces.
    • Educational Tool: This plant can be utilized in educational settings to teach about climbing plant mechanisms and pollinator attraction.
    • Art and Crafts: The vine of Clematis recta can be dried and used in weaving or as a component in floral arrangements.
    • Photography: Its striking white flowers make Clematis recta a popular subject for garden photographers and nature photography enthusiasts.
    • Natural Dyes: Historically, some plant parts have been used to extract natural dyes for coloring fabrics or artwork materials.
    • Culinary Garnishes: Although not widely recognized as edible, the flowers can sometimes be used as decorative garnishes in cuisine after proper verification of safety.
    • Garden Themes: Clematis recta is suitable for moon gardens due to its white blooms that reflect moonlight and create a glowing effect at night.
    • Companion Planting: It can be planted alongside roses and other shrubs to add vertical interest and contrast in textures within a garden bed.
    • Landscape Restoration: In native plantings and restoration projects, Clematis recta can be used to help reestablish natural habitats and support local wildlife.

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

    • Artistic Inspiration: Clematis, particularly Clematis recta, has been symbolically associated with creativity and the muses. Its climbing nature and the way it wraps around other structures may signify the intertwining of art and life.
    • Mental Agility: Some cultures believe that the clematis represents intelligence and thoughtfulness due to its intricate and complex flowers, suggesting a connection to the complexity of the mind.
    • Spiritual Pursuit: The upward growth of the clematis can be seen as a metaphor for spiritual growth or the pursuit of higher thinking, thus symbolizing spiritual ascension or the striving for enlightenment.
    • Beauty and Joy: The vibrant blooms of Clematis recta often symbolize beauty, gaiety, and happiness. Their presence in gardens is believed to bring joy and a sense of aesthetic pleasure.
    • Ingenuity and Inventiveness: With its ability to adapt and use other plants and structures for support, clematis is often seen as emblematic of ingenuity and the ability to navigate complex situations.
    • Connection with the Divine: In some traditions, the clematis is seen as a bridge between the earthly and the divine, with its vines reaching up towards the heavens as a symbol of connecting with the divine.

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

    Clematis recta, commonly known as upright clematis, requires consistent moisture. Water the plant deeply once a week, aiming for about 1 gallon per plant to ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. During the hot summer months, you may need to increase watering frequency to twice a week, particularly if rainfall is scarce or if the upright clematis is in a container. Reduce watering in the winter when the plant is dormant. Always avoid overhead watering to prevent diseases; instead, water at the base of the plant.

  • sunLight

    Upright clematis thrives best in full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot would provide morning sunlight and some afternoon shade, particularly in hotter climates to prevent the leaves from scorching. An eastern facing location with bright, indirect light for most of the day would be optimal for the upright clematis.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Upright clematis prefers moderate temperatures and can generally cope with a range between 25°F and 85°F. The ideal temperature for growing this plant is between 55°F and 75°F. Upright clematis may not survive extreme cold below 25°F without adequate winter protection or intense heat above 85°F without proper shading and hydration.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning upright clematis promotes vigorous growth and encourages more blooms. Prune in late winter or early spring by cutting back the plant to a set of strong buds about 1 to 2 feet above the ground. Prune again after the first flush of flowers, if desired, to tidy the plant and potentially promote a second bloom. The best time for major pruning is when the plant is dormant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Clematis recta, commonly known as 'Upright Clematis', should be well-draining and fertile, with a good mix of garden loam, peat or well-rotted compost, and sharp sand to improve drainage. The preferred soil pH for Upright Clematis is mildly alkaline to neutral, ranging from pH 7.0 to 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Upright Clematis generally does not require frequent repotting and can often be left undisturbed for several years. It should be repotted when it has outgrown its current pot or when the soil is exhausted, approximately every 3 to 4 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Upright Clematis thrives in average garden humidity levels; it does not require any special humidity conditions. However, ensuring good airflow around the plant can help prevent fungal diseases, which Clematis species can be prone to in overly humid conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Upright Clematis near a sunny window and provide a support structure.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in a well-drained spot with access to sunlight and a trellis for support.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Clematis recta, commonly known as upright clematis, begins its lifecycle as a seed, which will germinate in the spring if the conditions of moisture and temperature are suitable. Following germination, the seedling establishes itself with a small root system and initial foliage, entering a vegetative growth phase where it develops a larger root system and begins climbing or sprawling, depending on support availability. During the spring and early summer of its maturity, upright clematis enters its flowering stage, displaying clusters of fragrant white or cream flowers that attract pollinators. After pollination, the flowers develop into fruits with feathery tails called achenes that are dispersed by wind, aiding in propagation. The plant goes into dormancy in the winter, with its aerial parts dying back to the ground while the roots remain alive. Come spring, new shoots arise from the perennial rootstock, repeating the growth and reproductive cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • The Clematis recta, commonly known as upright clematis, can be propagated by seeds or asexually by stem cuttings. While seeds can be sown as soon as they are ripe in the fall or early spring, cuttings are typically taken in early summer when the plant's new growth is semi-ripe. However, the most popular method of propagation is by stem cuttings. To propagate upright clematis by cuttings, select a healthy section of stem about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long with several sets of leaves. Cut just below a leaf node, and remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder to encourage root growth and plant the cutting in a mix of sand and peat or a well-draining potting medium. Keep the cutting moist and covered with plastic to maintain humidity until roots develop, which usually takes several weeks.