Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Clematis occidentalis
Columbia clematis, rock clematis, Columbia virgins-bower

Distribution: East of the Cascades in Washington; British Columbia south to Oregon, east to Saskatchewan and Wyoming.

Habitat: Often in deep, fine soils in shady forest, also in cliffs and other rocky sites in open woods and thickets, at moderate to high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Soft-hairy or sparsely woolly perennials with creeping or climbing, slender stems; plants scarcely viny in var. dissecta, found in the Wenatchee Mountains of Washington.


Leaves opposite, ternate, firm but not succulent, the leaflets lance-ovate to triangular or sub-orbicular, lobed or unlobed, the margins entire or toothed.


Flowers solitary, terminal on short axillary branches on naked peduncles 5-15 cm. long; sepals usually 4, ovate-lanceolate to elliptic-oblong, acuminate, 3.5-6 cm. long, violet-blue to pale blue; petals none; stamens numerous, the outer ones often sterile; styles 3-6 cm. long, plumose, persistent.


Achenes short-pubescent.

Accepted Name:
Clematis occidentalis (Hornem.) DC.
Publication: Prodr. 1: 10. 1824.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. dissecta – Columbia clematis    Endemic to Wenatchee Mountains and nearby ranges, Chelan, Kittitas, Okanogan Counties, Washington.
var. grosseserrata – Columbia clematis    East of the Cascades in Washington; Yukon Territory to Colorado.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Clematis occidentalis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Clematis occidentalis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Clematis occidentalis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Clematis occidentalis photos.

USDA Plants: Clematis occidentalis information.

55 photographs:
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