A pretty little mountain, marsh plant with a smooth, stout, purplish stem from four to eight inches tall, and smooth, light-green leaves, often veined with purple on the under side. The flowers are an inch and a quarter across, with eight or ten, cream-white sepals, tinged with blue on the outside, and pretty golden centers of numerous stamens. This blooms at the edge of the retreating snow and reaches an altitude of twelve thousand feet. C. palustris, the Yellow Marsh Marigold, found in the Northwest and common in the East, has beautiful yellow flowers, resembling large Buttercups.
There are many varieties of Clematis, or Virgin's Bower, familiar to us all, both East and West, and general favorites, widely distributed and flourishing in temperate regions; perennials, woody below, which is unusual in this family. Usually they are beautiful trailing vines, which climb over bushes and rocks, holding on by their twisting, curling leaf-stalks. The flowers have no petals, or only very small ones, but their sepals, usually four, resemble petals; the stamens are numerous. The numerous pistils form a round bunch of akenes, their styles developing into long feathery tails, and these gray, plumy heads are very conspicuous and ornamental, when the flowers are gone. The leaves are opposite, which is unusual in this family, with slender leaf-stalks, and are usually compound. Some plants have only staminate flowers and some only pistillate ones, and the appearance is quite different, the flowers with stamens being handsomer.