Botanical Name : Clematis recta
Synonyms: Upright Virgin’s Bower. Flammula Jovis
Common Names : Erect Clematis or Ground virginsbower
Habitat: Clematis recta is native to Europe.Growing usually on the margins of woodland areas.
Clematis recta is a perennial plant, stem about 3 feet high, leafy, striated, herbaceous, greenish or reddish; leaves large opposite, leaflets five to nine pubescent underneath, petioled; flowers, white in upright stiff terminal umbels, peduncles several times ternate; seeds dark brown, smooth, orbicular, much compressed, tails long yellowish, plumose; time for collecting when beginning to flower. It is a free-standing shrub rather than a climbing plant.
The leaves and flowers have an acrid burning taste, the acridity being greatly diminished by drying.
Succeeds in any soil in full sun, but prefers a fertile sandy loam. Dislikes poorly-drained heavy clay soils, but grows well in clay if grit is added for drainage. Does well on chalk. Dislikes winter wet. Succeeds in acid as well as alkaline soils. Plans are hardy to about -25°c. A twining plant. The leafstalks wrap themselves around twigs and branches for support. When a side of the stalk touches an object, the growth on that side slows down whilst the other side grows at its normal rate – this causes the leaf stalk to entwine the object it is touching. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value. When planting out, in order to avoid the disease ‘clematis wilt’, it is best to plant the rootball about 8cm deeper in the soil. This will also serve to build up a good root crown of growth buds. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed as soon as it is obtained in a cold frame. Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and remove as much of the tail and outer coat as possible. A period of cold stratification is beneficial. The seed germinates in 1 – 9 months or more at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Internodal cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, late spring in sandy soil in a frame. Layering of old stems in late winter or early spring. Layering of current seasons growth in early summer.
Edible Uses: Young shoot tips are cooked and eaten or pickled. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
The flowers and leaves are diaphoretic, diuretic and rubefacient. They are taken both internally and externally in the treatment of syphilitic, cancerous and other foul ulcers. Caution is advised since this is a poisonous plant. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism and skin eruptions.
Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, some if not all members of this genus are mildly poisonous. The toxic principle is dissipated by heat or by drying.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.