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A climbing, deciduous plant, growing 10 ft or more high, forming at the top a heavy, bushy tangle, whilst it is comparatively naked and unfurnished below; young stems glabrous. Leaves very variable in size and shape, but mostly composed of three or five leaflets, which are not toothed, but often two- or three-lobed and frequently trifoliolate; they are bright green on both sides and quite glabrous, varying in shape from narrowly lanceolate to almost round. Flowers pure white, delightfully fragrant, 3⁄4 to I in. across, produced from August to October in loose panicles up to 1 ft in length. Seed-vessels oval, 1⁄4 in. long, surmounted by a white-plumed style 11⁄4 in. long.
Native of S. Europe; cultivated in Britain since the sixteenth century. In the fragrance of its blossoms this clematis provides one of the greatest pleasures of the autumn garden. It is variously compared with the scent of almonds, vanilla, and hawthorn, and is perceptible some yards away from the plant.
C. violacea A. DC. f