Purple Ground Clematis Clematis recta 'Purpurea' (F)

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


Clematis recta 'Purpurea', commonly known as the upright clematis or purple clematis, is a striking perennial plant known for its beautiful foliage and flowers. The most distinctive feature of this variety is the dark purple leaves that emerge in the spring, offering a rich backdrop for the blooms that follow. Over time, the leaves mature to a green with a hint of purple, maintaining a striking contrast with the flowers. The flowers of the upright clematis are small, star-shaped, and white, forming dense clusters that stand prominently above the foliage. These blossoms have a delightful, subtle fragrance that can catch on the breeze, adding an olfactory treat to the visual display. The flowers give way to attractive, plume-like seed heads that offer added interest later in the season. In contrast to other clematis, the upright clematis has a more bushy and self-supporting habit, allowing it to stand tall without the need for extensive staking or trellising. This plant's stems and leaves tend to form a mound-like shape, making it a versatile addition to borders and flower gardens where it can contrast nicely with other plants. Throughout the growing season, the upright clematis 'Purpurea' provides a long-lasting and dynamic element to the landscape with its changing leaf colors and extended period of bloom.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Purple-leafed Clematis, Purple Ground Clematis, Upright Clematis, Standing Clematis, Purpurea

    • Common names

      Clematis recta var. purpurea, Clematis recta 'Purpurea Select'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Clematis is known to be mildly toxic to humans if ingested. The plant contains compounds that can cause digestive disturbances. Symptoms of poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, mouth irritation, and diarrhea. Contact with the sap can also cause skin irritation or dermatitis in sensitive individuals. It is important to use caution and avoid ingesting any part of the Clematis plant.

    • To pets

      Clematis is similarly toxic to pets as it is to humans. If ingested, pets might experience salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, and possible mouth or gastrointestinal irritation. As with humans, contact with the skin can lead to dermatitis. Pet owners should prevent animals from chewing on or ingesting any part of the Clematis plant due to its toxicity.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (91-122 cm)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (61-91 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Clematis recta 'Purpurea', commonly known as ground clematis, is prized for its striking purple foliage that adds a pop of color to garden landscapes.
    • Attractive Flowering: The plant produces masses of white, star-shaped flowers that can enhance the beauty of any ornamental garden.
    • Easy to Grow: Ground clematis is known for being relatively easy to cultivate, requiring minimal maintenance once established.
    • Diversity in Planting: It can be used in a variety of garden settings, including borders, walls, trellises, and as a ground cover.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The flowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which are beneficial for the overall health of a garden ecosystem.
    • Architectural Structure: The upright growth habit of the plant can provide vertical interest and can be utilized for creating natural screens or garden dividers.
    • Seasonal Interest: The plant offers changing visual interest throughout the seasons, from the emerging purple-tinted foliage in spring to blossoms in summer and seed heads in fall.
    • Combination Planting: Ground clematis pairs well with a variety of other plants, allowing for creative and complementary planting designs.

  • 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

    • Clematis recta 'Purpurea', also known as Purple Clematis, can be used as a natural dye source for textiles, giving fabrics a soft hue of lavender or purple dependent on the mordant used.
    • The plant's stems, when mature and woody, can be harvested and used in basket weaving or crafting as they become sturdy yet pliable after soaking.
    • Purple Clematis can be trained to grow over unsightly structures, such as old fences or sheds, to beautify these areas with its foliage and flowers.
    • When dried, the vine can be used in floral arrangements, adding an interesting structure and form to dried bouquets.
    • Purple Clematis can be incorporated into garden design as a natural divider or living screen between different areas of the garden.
    • The fast-growing nature of Purple Clematis makes it suitable for use in school or educational garden projects, demonstrating plant growth and climbing habits.
    • This plant can be used in photography and painting as a subject for its striking color and the intricate structure of its blooms.
    • Gardeners might use Purple Clematis as a companion plant to climb through shrubs that lose their leaves early, providing added interest late into the season.
    • Its dense growth habit allows Purple Clematis to provide habitats and shelter for small garden fauna, such as insects and birds.
    • The climbing habit of Purple Clematis can be utilized to create living tunnels or archways in larger garden landscapes.

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 often symbolizes creativity and artistic expression, owing to its many varieties and striking beauty.
    • Mental Agility: With its intricate vine patterns, clematis can represent intellectual dexterity and the ability to navigate complex thoughts.
    • Sweet Dreams: In some cultures, clematis is thought to bring good dreams and is associated with mental tranquility.
    • Traveler's Joy: Some species of clematis are nicknamed "Traveler's Joy", as they represent safety in travel and the joy of new adventures.
    • Spiritual Quest: The climbing nature of clematis signifies spiritual ascension and the pursuit of higher knowledge.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Spring to Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Purple Clematis, generally, should be watered once a week with about one gallon of water, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. In hot, dry periods, you may need to water twice a week. During the cooler months, or when rainfall is frequent, reduce the amount of supplemental watering. Always check the top inch of soil for dryness before watering and adjust your schedule according to the needs of the plant.

  • sunLight

    Purple Clematis thrives best in full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot would be where the plant can receive at least six hours of sunlight daily, though it can tolerate some light afternoon shade. Keep them away from strong, hot afternoon sun in very warm climate zones.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Purple Clematis prefers a moderate temperature range and can generally tolerate temperatures from 40°F to 85°F. Extreme temperatures below freezing can harm the plant, while the ideal growing temperatures are between 60°F and 70°F. Providing some shade during the hottest parts of the day can help manage temperature stress.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Purple Clematis encourages strong growth and flowering. Prune in late winter or early spring by removing dead or weak stems before new growth begins. It's typically recommended to prune back to a set of strong buds about 1 to 2 feet from the ground every year to maintain shape and vigor.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Ground Clematis prefers a well-draining soil mix rich in organic matter, with a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.5. A mix of two-thirds loam and one-third well-rotted compost or manure is ideal, providing the right balance of drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Ground Clematis should be repotted every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and provide room for growth. It is less frequently repotted than many other potted plants due to its larger size and vigorous root system.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Ground Clematis thrives best in average room humidity conditions. It does not require high humidity levels, making it suitable for typical outdoor garden settings where it can receive natural ambient moisture.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and avoid dry air.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, provide support, and mulch.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Clematis recta 'Purpurea', commonly known as Purple Clematis, begins its life as a seed, which, when sown in fertile, well-drained soil and exposed to the right environmental conditions, will germinate and sprout. The plant then enters the vegetative stage, characterized by the growth of its distinctive purplish-green, lance-shaped leaves, and herbaceous, upright stems. As it matures, the Purple Clematis enters the flowering stage, usually in early summer, where it produces clusters of small, star-shaped white flowers that are highly fragrant. After pollination, typically by insects attracted by the flowers' scent and nectar, the plant produces feathery seed heads that contain the seeds for the next generation. During the fall, the plant will become dormant, retreating back to the ground level, where it overwinters. With the return of spring, new shoots arise from the crown, signaling the start of a new growth cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Early Summer

    • The most popular method for propagating Clematis recta 'Purpurea', commonly known as Upright Clematis, is by softwood cuttings. This is typically done in early to mid-spring, when new growth is soft and pliable. To propagate, select a healthy stem that has new growth and cut a piece about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long, making sure that there are at least two sets of leaves. The cut should be made just below a leaf node, as this is where the roots will form. The leaves from the lower half of the cutting should be removed, and the base of the cutting can be dipped in rooting hormone to increase the likelihood of successful rooting. The prepared cutting should then be placed in a potting mix that is kept moist but well-draining, ensuring the leaf node is buried. The pot should be covered with a plastic bag or placed in a propagator to maintain a humid environment until roots develop.