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Virgin's Bower

Clematis flammula

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
5 metres tall
Beaches, hedgerows, sand dunes, sea cliffs, seaside, wasteland.

White, 4 petals
Star-shaped white flowers.
The fruit is a green achene which is a kind of dry, one-seeded fruit. The fluffy seedheads ripen from October to January. Pollinated by flies and bees.
A deciduous climber with dark green 2-pinnate leaves, similar in appearance to Traveller's Joy (Clematis vitalba). In leaf from March to November.
The flowers are sweetly fragrant.
Other Names:
Fragrant Clematis, Fragrant Virgin's Bower, Small-flowered Clematis, Sweet-scented Virgin's Bower.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Clematis flammula, also known as small-flowered clematis, is a species of flowering plant in the buttercup family. It is native to Europe and is commonly found in wooded areas and along streams and rivers. The plant is known for its small, white or pale pink flowers, which have four petals and a sweet fragrance. It blooms in the summer and can be found in a range of habitats, including gardens, meadows, and along roadsides. Clematis flammula is a hardy plant that is relatively easy to grow. It prefers moist, well-draining soil and can be grown in full sun or partial shade. The plant is often used in landscaping and can be trained to climb walls or trellises.


If you're looking for a plant that's both beautiful and versatile, look no further than Virgin's Bower, also known as Clematis flammula. This climbing plant is native to Europe and western Asia and can grow up to 10 feet in length, making it perfect for covering fences, walls, and trellises. With its delicate white or creamy white flowers and elegant foliage, Virgin's Bower is a wonderful addition to any garden.

One of the best things about Virgin's Bower is that it can be used in a variety of ways. For example, it can be trained to grow up a wall or trellis to create a stunning focal point. It can also be used as a ground cover, or even as a trailing plant in containers or hanging baskets. Regardless of how you use it, Virgin's Bower will add a touch of beauty and elegance to your garden.

In terms of care, Virgin's Bower is relatively low maintenance. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Watering regularly will help to keep the plant healthy and encourage growth. Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring to remove any dead or damaged growth.

Another great thing about Virgin's Bower is that it's easy to propagate. Simply take cuttings from the plant in the summer and plant them in a pot filled with moist soil. The cuttings should root within a few weeks, and you'll soon have new plants to add to your garden.

Overall, Virgin's Bower is a beautiful and versatile plant that's perfect for any garden. Whether you use it as a focal point, ground cover, or in containers, it's sure to add a touch of beauty and elegance to your outdoor space.

Another great aspect of Virgin's Bower is that it's attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies. This makes it an ideal choice for those who want to support local wildlife and encourage biodiversity in their garden. Additionally, the plant is deer-resistant, so you won't have to worry about your hard work being eaten away.

In terms of design, Virgin's Bower is a great choice for adding height and interest to your garden. The delicate white or creamy white flowers are eye-catching and will draw attention to your garden, especially when they are in full bloom. Furthermore, the plant can be combined with other plants such as roses, clematis, and ivy to create a stunning climbing display.

Finally, Virgin's Bower is also a good choice for those who want a low-maintenance garden. It's drought-tolerant and requires little attention, making it an ideal choice for gardeners who don't have a lot of time to devote to their outdoor space.

In terms of cultural significance, Virgin's Bower has a rich history and has been used in various ways throughout the centuries. For example, in medieval times, the plant was used in herbal medicine to treat various ailments such as skin conditions and wounds. In some cultures, the plant was also used to symbolize purity and innocence, and was often associated with young maidens and brides.

In addition to its cultural significance, Virgin's Bower also has a place in literature and art. The plant has inspired poets and artists, and its delicate flowers have been depicted in many paintings and drawings over the years.

When planting Virgin's Bower, it's important to choose a location that will provide the right conditions for growth. The plant prefers full sun to partial shade, and well-drained soil. If you're planting the plant near a wall or trellis, make sure that there's enough room for the plant to grow and spread out.

Finally, it's also important to choose the right variety of Virgin's Bower for your garden. There are many different varieties available, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Some popular varieties include 'White Hook' and 'Lemon Belle', both of which are prized for their fragrant flowers.

In conclusion, Virgin's Bower is a beautiful and versatile climbing plant with a rich cultural history and many practical uses. Whether you're looking to add height and interest to your garden, support local wildlife, or simply enjoy the beauty of its delicate flowers, this plant is sure to bring joy and beauty to your outdoor space.

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Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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