Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Columbian Virgin's-bower - Clematis columbiana

Native Species

Global Rank: G5?
State Rank: S4?

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value:

External Links






 
General Description
Clematis columbiana

Plants: Stems viny, growing upward, clambering over surfaces or forming rhizomatous mats (Lesica 2012).
Leaves: Leaf blades 2- to 3-times ternate into lobed leaflets; leaflets 1–3 cm long, lanceolate (Lesica 2012), outlines varying, the lobes mostly deep, with serrate margins (FNA 1997).


Clematis columbiana variety columbiana: Present in Montana.

Plants: Stems viny, growing upward, clambering over surfaces, 59-150(-350) cm in length (FNA 1997).
Leaves: Blade ternate 2 or 3 times, thin; leaflets typically lance-shaped or somewhat broader below with the several lobes usually more than 0.5 cm in width; margins toothed (FNA 1997).


Clematis columbiana variety tenuiloba: Present in Montana.

Plants: Stems mostly rhizomatous and underground, those aboveground not viny, typically less than 10 cm in length (intermediate forms to var. columbiana up to 150 cm), tufted (FNA 2005).
Leaves: Blade typically 3-ternate, somewhat fleshy; lobes usually 1.5-5 mm in width (FNA 1997).

(Lesica's contribution adapted from Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)

Phenology
Clematis columbiana: Fruits mature late in the summer into autumn (Lesica 2012).

Clematis columbiana var. columbiana: Flowers mostly spring into the first part of summer (upper elevations), but sometimes in autumn on young growth (FNA 1997).

Clematis columbiana var. tenuiloba: Flowers late spring into the first part of summer (FNA 1997).

(P. Lesica's contribution adapted from Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)

Diagnostic Characteristics
Clematis columbiana var. columbiana: Stems clambering; the leaves only twice ternate (Lesica 2012), the blades thin, with final leaf divisions frequently greater than 5 mm in width (FNA 1997).

Clematis columbiana var. tenuiloba: Stem tufted (not trailing or clambering); the leaves three-times ternate (Lesica 2012), the blades somewhat fleshy, with final leaf divisions usually 1.5-5 mm in width (FNA 1997).

(P. Lesica's contribution adapted from Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
Clematis columbiana: MT, ND south to AZ, NM, and TX (Lesica 2012).

Clematis columbiana var. columbiana: AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, TX, UT, and WY. Elevation: 5580-10,500 feet (FNA 1997).

Clematis columbiana var. tenuiloba: CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, and WY. Elevation: 3280-9850 feet (FNA 1997).

(P. Lesica's contribution adapted from Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 313

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Clematis columbiana: Both varieties have a strong affinity to calcareous soil (Lesica 2012).

Clematis columbiana var. columbiana: Rocky groves of small trees and shrubs, open woodlands (FNA 1997).

Clematis columbiana var. tenuiloba: Rock faces and peaks, typically in exposed areas or thin pine woodlands (FNA 1997).

(Lesica's contribution from Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)

Ecology
In their extremes, the 2 varieties appear markedly different. However, they intergrade considerably. Their physical form may be partially due to a response to their environment. For example, in some areas where variety tenuiloba lives on wide-open crests, variety columbiana may grow close by but at lesser elevations (FNA 1997).

POLLINATORS
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus occidentalis, Bombus pensylvanicus, and Bombus impatiens (Thorp et al. 1983, Colla and Dumesh 2010).

Reproductive Characteristics
Clematis columbiana
Flowers: Bell-shaped, perfect, solitary, terminal, nodding; sepals 2.5–4 cm long, deep blue (Lesica 2012), rarely white in var. columbiana, ovate or more lance-shaped (FNA 1997); petals lacking; stamens many; pistils many in a head-shaped (capitate) bundle (Hitchcock et al. 1964).
Fruit: Achene with feathery persistent style or beak (Hitchcock et al. 1964); beak 2–5 cm long (Lesica 2012).

Clematis columbiana variety columbiana
Flowers: Sepals 25-60 mm in length, violet or bluish-violet (FNA 1997).

Clematis columbiana variety tenuiloba
Flowers: Sepals 15-50 mm in length, violet or bluish-violet (FNA 1997).

(P. Lesica's contribution adapted from Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)

Management
ECONOMIC VALUE

Clematis columbiana: Leaves or sometimes leaves and stems are steeped, the liquid then washed into the hair to prevent greyness (Moerman 1998).

Clematis columbiana var. columbiana: Plants are cultivated for their beauty and to provide shade (Moerman 1998).

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1997. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 3. Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, NY. xxiii + 590 pp.
    • Hitchcock, C. L., A. Cronquist, M. Ownbey, and J. W. Thompson. 1964. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 2: Salicaceae to Saxifragaceae. University of Washington Press, Seattle. 597 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Moerman, D.E. 1998. Native American ethnobotany. Portland, OR: Timber Press, Inc. 927 p.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Aradottir, A.L. 1984. Ammonia volatilization from native grasslands and forests of SW Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 48 p.
    • Cramer, P.C. 1992. Small mammal diversity and abundance in Douglas Fir old growth forests. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 64 p.
    • Dale, D. 1973. Effects of trail use under forests in the Madison Range, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 96 pp.
    • Eversman, S.T. 1968. A comparison of plant communities and substrates of avalanche and non-avalanche areas in south central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 39 pp.
    • Fogelsong, M.L. 1974. Effects of fluorides on Peromyscus maniculatus in Glacier National Park. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 52 p.
    • Harvey, S.J. 1990. Responses of steppe plants to gradients of water soil texture and disturbance in Montana, U.S.A. Ph.D. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 34 p.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Martinka, R.R. 1970. Structural characteristics and ecological relationships of male blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus (Say)) territories in southwestern Montana. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Roe, L.S. 1992. Status review of Aquilegia brevistyla, USDA Forest Service, Region 1, Lewis & Clark National Forest. Unpublished report. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 47 pp.
    • Steerey, W. F. 1979. Distribution, range use and population characteristics of Mule Deer associated with the Schafer Creek winter range, Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 119 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Columbian Virgin's-bower"
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Columbian Virgin's-bower — Clematis columbiana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from