The naming of plants is a serious matter!

clematisI grew up calling this Autumn Clematis. Dad grew it on a trellis in the back yard and I loved the luxurious bloom and the amazing fragrance.  I finally have a plant descendant from that vine growing well and blooming this summer.

A number of years ago, I was gifted with a 1939 edition of The Gardener’s Bed Book. Richardson Wright’s language is a bit flowery at times as he takes the reader through the months. September 9 he wrote on Virgin’s Bower, Clematis paniculata. “...even the Latin of it is pretty.”

clematis 2

“Early September sees its stars appearing — here a star and there a star, as the light of the heavens twinkle through dusky mists. And when that Milky Way has come down to dwell with us, it brings also a divine fragrance.”

I had never heard the name Virgin’s Bower so I searched to see if it is the plant in my garden.

Shockingly, one man’s poetic beauty is another gardener’s invasive nuisance! Two different plants with the same common names of Sweet Autumn Clematis or Virgin’s Bower, one native, the other an import from the 1880’s.

My search brought be to this post of beautiful photos and a “cautionary tale”. After reading it, I will be pruning my plant before those seeds ripen!

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