I have a beautiful Clematis virginiana growing near the gate on the fence that surrounds my pool. It is called Virgin’s Bower and sometimes Devil’s Darning Needles or Woodbine. This particular plant came from Door Landscape and Nursery in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. Owner Cliff Orsted “grew it from seed collected from vines growing over shrubs and into the lower branches of trees in a moderately-canopied deciduous woods very close to the shores of Lake Michigan about 10 miles south of the ship canal.” It’s a pollinator magnet.
“The vines were 25-30 feet in length. Its habit was very open and airy. I suspect this was because of the moderate light conditions under the deciduous canopy.”
Cliff went on to write that “we have observed variations in flower form and foliage morphology in the plants we have grown from seed. Variations include:
– Smooth to moderately serrated leaf margins.
– Four-petaled flowers, plus occasional five petaled flowers.”
I can add that the plant doesn’t seem to be very picky about its location, except for the sun. My specimen grows in a sunny location except early morning/late afternoon. Where it gets no sun, it doesn’t flower. But it is growing in very limited soil between the driveway and the concrete slabs that form the deck of my pool.
And it is a pollinator magnet. While in bloom, it is buzzing constantly throughout the day with more insects than I can count. I’ve seen bumble bees, mud dauber wasps, blue mud wasps, leaf cutters and many halictid bees. All have been friendly as I’ve walked back and forth from the pool area many times during the day. Consider trying this vine to enhance your habitat for pollinators — you’ll be delightfully surprised.