Saturday, August 26, 2017

Surround your home with gardens that benefit #pollinators #nativeplants #Clematisvirginiana

Clematis virginiana
Virgin's Bower
 Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Over the past few years we've been transforming our yard and gardens to feature more native plants to feed and attract wildlife. This beautiful native plant just appeared in our yard and gardens a few years ago. At first I thought of it as just a non-wanted weed and always pulled it out. Last summer I spotted the plant for sale at Bowman's Hill - a native garden supplier. I thought to myself, "We have that!" Their sign identified it as Clematis virginiana - also called Virgin's Bower or Devil's Darning Needles. 

We decided to let our free native grow. It spread here and there around our yard. Why let it? Because pollinators desperately need more essential food and habitat in neighborhoods. Non-native plants, such as Sweet Autumn Clematis, have replaced many native plants in home gardens. 

Non-native Sweet Autumn Clematis is also called Virgin's Bower. We have that vine too. They are both beautiful, but now I am pulling out some Sweet Autumn and and letting more native clematis grow. They both are vigorous growers. You can tell them apart by the plant's leaves. Sweet Autumn Clematis has round leaves and Clematis virginiana has toothed or jagged edged leaves.

Twining Clematis virginiana has fragrant, white, feathery flowers. The blooms appear late summer into fall: August through October. Pollinating insects like bees and butterflies benefit from the nectar.

Clematis virginiana will climb and cascade over anything including other plants, arbors, trellises, or fences. The vine is delicate and easy to pull up if it grows where you decide you don't want it.

Photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Related Links
For more information see: Jersey Friendly Yards 
Why Native Plants Matter

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