Discussion on Clematis -- C. crispa vs. C. pitcheri

While on the hike at Brazos Bend last Sunday 10/4 (see last journal post), I was fortunate to stumble across and photo-document not one but TWO different Clematis individuals. With the intent to organize, this journal post will serve as a discussion placeholder for these two observations, as well as others I've seen -- C. crispa and C. pitcheri in particular here on the Gulf Coast.

I am tagging individuals who may be interested: @gary1122, @suz, @sambiology, @rednat, @noreenhoard, @scottbuckel, @sbdplantgal, @jcharris. (At least I think that's how it works!)

Posted by dirtnkids dirtnkids, 07 October, 2020 15:31

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Pitcher's Leatherflower (Clematis pitcheri)

Observer

dirtnkids

Date

September 28, 2019 10:12 AM HST

Photos / Sounds

What

Pitcher's Leatherflower (Clematis pitcheri)

Observer

dirtnkids

Date

October 13, 2019 09:32 AM HST

Photos / Sounds

What

Swamp Leatherflower (Clematis crispa)

Observer

dirtnkids

Date

August 8, 2020 08:39 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

dirtnkids

Date

August 8, 2020 07:41 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Pitcher's Leatherflower (Clematis pitcheri)

Observer

dirtnkids

Date

August 8, 2020 01:17 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Swamp Leatherflower (Clematis crispa)

Observer

dirtnkids

Date

October 4, 2020 10:09 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Pitcher's Leatherflower (Clematis pitcheri)

Observer

dirtnkids

Date

October 4, 2020 10:20 AM CDT

Comments

Copied and pasted from @gary1122, useful identification detail, comparing both species:

"Underneath, Crispa is the only bicolor, with rare exceptions, among all the Viornae subgroup, almost always white (not cream) centrally to blue peripherally, where Pitcheri var pitcheri (Texas form) is always deep (not light) purple or red or magenta (mix of the two). Outside, Crispa flowers are mono blue or two tone blue to lighter blue. Pitcheri is either mono light purple or red or two tone light blue or red (at the base) to deeper blue or red (at the tips).

Classically Crispa is a much shorter flower w deep ribs, where Pitcheri is taller w fine ribs. Crispa has longer flower buds with a typical shape, to accompany these different forms. Crispa tends to be a bit blocky, where Pitcheri tends to be a bit more urn shaped.

Crispa always has widely reflexed sepals, usually rolled up, with crispate (wavy) edges. These are hallmarks of the species. Pitcheri can be similar, with less roll up, but more often has narrowly reflexed sepals with limited crispate edges (as in your specimen). Crispa has terminal flowers only, where Pitcheri has both terminal flowers and bi-axillary flowers, yet both bloom profusely. These traits of form and color of flowers are so consistent that no one ought to be in error.

Foliage is more variable. Both are green-not glaucous. All the vining forms under subgroup Viornae have pinnate (compound) leaves and all have odd numbers of leaflets. Crispa tends to have rather elongate single leaflets. Pitcheri tends to have lobate leaflets at the 1st set arising from the stem and a reticulate-like venous pattern. Crispa does not cling--it is an intermediate form, lacking prehensile tendrils and tends to sprawl--except in hybrids. Pitcheri clings like all the other vining forms and has small prehensile tendrils at terminal leaflets. Crispa does not have bi-axillary flowers, thus no bracts. Pitcheri (Texas form) has bracts on flower stems (pedicels or peduncles-both terms are the same) arising generally within 5% of axilla, which I call 'near axillary'.

With seedheads, Crispa tends to have fairly long tails w short laid down hairs, where Pitcheri tends to have shorter tails with few hairs generally located only at the seed-tail junction area. Pitcheri can have amputated tails in the wild, not present in other species. Seedheads like other traits can vary somewhat."

Posted by dirtnkids about 2 years ago (Flag)

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