Clematis scottii
Common Name: Scott's clematis 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: Great Plains States
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Deep blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought


Best grown in rich, fertile, moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Some afternoon shade is usually beneficial in hot and humid summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Slow to establish (needs several growing seasons). Some drought tolerance once established, but soils should not be allowed to completely dry out.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Clematis scottii, commonly known as sugar bowl clematis, is a non-vining bush clematis which typically grows in an upright clump to 12” tall and 18” wide. It is native to South Dakota, Wyoming, western Nebraska, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico, but is particularly noted for its showy presence in open mountain woodlands, mountain meadows, thickets and rocky slopes along the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in southern Wyoming and Colorado.

This perennial features (a) compound leaves (upper ones pinnate to 2-pinnate and 3-6” long) with lanceolate to ovate leaflets, (b) solitary, nodding, showy, urceolate, urn- or bell-shaped, deep blue flowers (resembling sugar bowls) which droop singly from the top of a naked flowering stem in a late spring to early summer (May-July) bloom, and (c) showy, silky-fuzzy seed heads (plumed achenes) which develop late summer to fall.

Synonymous with Clematis hirsutissima var. scottii and Clematis douglasii var. scottii.

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

Specific epithet honors John Scott who first collected this plant in 1872 near Canon City, Colorado.


Clematis wilt is a potentially fatal fungal disease that can affect any clematis, but large-flowered, hybrid varieties are the most susceptible. Powdery mildew, leaf spots, rust and viruses can also be problematic. Potential insect pests include aphids, vine weevils, slugs/snails, scale and earwigs. Watch for spider mites.


Best massed or in large groups. Rock gardens, border fronts, native plant gardens, prairies or meadows.