Clematis crispa

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: blue jasmine
Type: Vine
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Pale blue to violet with white interior
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil, Black Walnut

Culture

Grow in fertile, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Roots should be kept cool, shaded and uniformly moist. Bloom on C. crispa occurs on the current year’s growth. Plants usually die to the ground in winter each year. Plants generally need an adequate supply of nutrients during the growing season to support the rush of growth. Plants may not be reliably winter hardy in the St. Louis area where a protected location and straw winter mulch should be considered.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Clematis crispa, commonly called swamp leather flower, curly clematis or blue jasmine, is a semi-woody twining vine that is native to floodplain forests, marshes and swamps from Virginia to southern Illinois south to Florida and Texas. In Missouri, it is found only in certain swampy areas in the far southeastern corner of the state (Steyermark). Vines typically grow to 6-10’ tall. Solitary, bell-shaped, pale blue to violet blue flowers with white interiors bloom at the branch ends in late spring to early summer. Flowers are slightly fragrant. Flowers are followed by attractive seedheads. Branches are clad with pinnate compound leaves with broadly ovate to lanceolate leaflets. The flowers of this species have flared, ridged and frilled sepals with strongly recurving tips.

Genus name comes from the Greek word klematis which is an old name applied to climbing plants.

Specific epithet means closely curled.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. This clematis is susceptible to wilt which can be fatal.

Garden Uses

This clematis needs consistently moist soils. Consider placing it near bodies of water or in native plant gardens. It can be trained to climb a wall, trellis, fence, arbor, porch, lamppost or other stationary structure. It provides good architectural height and framework for small gardens. It can also be planted to sprawl over and through large shrubs, over old tree stumps or simply as a ground cover.