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A vigorous evergreen climber 20 ft or more high; stems glabrous, wiry, purplish brown. Leaves made up of three leaflets on a main-stalk 2 to 4 in. long. Leaflets broadly ovate to lanceolate, shortly to slenderly pointed, heart-shaped or rounded at the base; 2 to 5 in. long, 1 to 3 in. wide; not toothed, distinctly three-veined, of leathery texture. Flowers 1 in. wide, produced numerously in large, lax panicles; the (normally) four sepals white, narrowly oblong, woolly at the margins, the anthers making a conspicuous yellow patch of colour in the centre. Styles of the seed-vessel 11⁄4 in. long, silky. Bot. Mag., t. 7897.
Native of China, where it is widely spread from Hong Kong to Yunnan. There are evidently several forms of this clematis in a wild state, as one might, indeed, expect from its wide natural area. The plant figured in the Botanical Magazine, which may be regarded as typical, came to Kew from Hong Kong, and like its successors had to be given cool greenhouse treatment. Probably forms of more western origin would be hardier and in any case would succeed in our warmer counties in the open air. The species is of the same group as C. armandii but has smaller flowers; it makes a very fine display at Kew every year in the coolest section of the Temperate House, where it flowers during February and March and in advance of C. armandii. It is very closely allied to C. finetiana, which differs in its usually racemose or merely three-flowered inflorescence.