Stem. - Climbing, somewhat woody. Leaves. - Opposite, three-divided. Flowers. - Whitish, in clusters, unisexual. Calyx. - Of four petal-like sepals. Corolla. - None. Stamens and Pistils. - Indefinite in number, occurring on different plants.
In July and August this beautiful plant, covered with its white blossoms and clambering over the shrubs which border the country lanes, makes indeed a fitting bower for any maid or traveller who may chance to be seeking shelter. Later in the year the seeds with their silvery plumes give a feathery effect which is very striking.
This graceful climber works its way by means of its bending or clasping leaf-stalks. Darwin has made interesting experiments regarding the movements of the young shoots of the Clematis. He discovered that, "one revolved describing a broad oval, in five hours, thirty minutes; and another in six hours, twelve minutes; they follow the course of the sun."
Plate XXXI. Fruit-cluster. - Traveller's Joy. - Clematis Virginiana