Purple Clematis

Purple Clematis, Clematis occidentalis

Purple Clematis – Clematis occidentalis

Where the woodland streamlets flow,
Gushing down a rocky bed,
Where the tasseled alders grow,
Lightly meeting overhead,
When the fullest August days
Give the richness that they know,
Then the wild clematis comes,
With her wealth of tangled blooms,
Reaching up and drooping low.

The only place I’ve seen wild purple clematis in Minnesota is at Gooseberry Falls on the North Shore, a gorgeous state park to visit any time of the year—in early June, when the Clematis blooms and the leaves have come out in all shades of green and the waterfalls are full and gushing, later in summer when the water levels are down and the enterprising visitors can cross to islands in the middle of the river between the middle and lower falls, autumn for the gorgeous colors, and winter when the falls freeze in massive ice sculptures.

~Dora Read Goodale (In Berkshire with the Wild Flowers, 1879)