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   Linnaeus named the Clematis genus in 1753.  
See also white Clematis

Clematis hirsutissima
Clematis hirsutissima
Clematis hirsutissima variety hirsutissima. Synonym: Coriflora hirsutissima.  (Sugarbowls)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine.  Meadows, woodlands.  Spring, early summer.
Mesa Verde National Park, Prater Ridge Trail, May 14, 2004.

Because it often grows in deep vegetation, Clematis hirsutissima is easily overlooked. Once sighted, however, it is unmistakable and unmatchable.  Erect slim stems produce small, airy leaf clusters.  The stems are topped by a flanged, upside down flower bowl of deep, silvery purple. The silvery glisten to the flower is, as seen in the photographs below, the result of a myriad of very fine hairs.  The flower gives way to a feathery swirl of seed pods that always attracts more attention than the flower.

Frederick Pursh named this species Clematis hirsutissima in 1814 from specimens collected by Meriwether Lewis in Idaho in May of 1806. Lewis indicated that the plant was, "one of the most common plants of the plains of Columbia". William Weber created the Coriflora genus in 1996.

Hairs covering the flower and its stalk give rise to its specific epithet: "hirsutissima", "hairy".  "Cori" is Greek for "leathery", referring to the texture of the flower.  "Clematis" is an ancient Greek name for various climbing plants.

Clematis hirsutissima

Clematis hirsutissima

Clematis hirsutissima variety hirsutissima. Synonym: Coriflora hirsutissima.  (Sugarbowls)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine.  Meadows, woodlands.  Spring, early summer.
Narraguinnep Natural Area, May 28, 2004.

Clematis hirsutissima

Clematis hirsutissima

Clematis hirsutissima

Clematis hirsutissima variety hirsutissima. Synonym: Coriflora hirsutissima.  (Sugarbowls)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine.  Meadows, woodlands.  Spring, early summer.
Mesa Verde National Park, Prater Ridge Trail, June 3, 2004.
Lone Mesa State Park, May 26, 2009.

Feathery style plumes that will help disperse the fertilized seeds bristle out from the ovary.

Range maps © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Clematis hirsutissima

See also white Clematis