May 28, 2017

Get Fuzzy

Barbara Lyon Photo | Clematis hirsutissima - Hairy clematis

Barbara Lyon Photo | Clematis hirsutissima – Hairy clematis

Dusted with fuzz is Clematis hirsutissima, a member of the buttercup family. Hairy clematis is native to a good portion of the western United States, stretching from Washington to Nebraska, then south, growing in grasslands, sagebrush plains and ponderosa forests. Also called sugarbowls, vase flower and leatherflower, it is also known as lion’s beard because of its “shaggy fruit head.” Unlike most clematis, this one does not produce a vine and grows erect, about 2 feet in height. The hairy, deeply cut leaves surround a flower stalk that bears a single bloom, a nodding bell with curling tips and a woolly appearance. This particular specimen was photographed by Barbara Lyon atop Thorne Creek Butte in Idaho at an elevation of 7,500 feet. She wrote that in a carpet of wildflowers, this stood alone.

Submitted by Barbara Lyon

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