Chinese clematis

(Clematis orientalis)

Ann Larson

This escaped ornamental is a perennial woody vine that climbs up and grows over anything in its path. Its distinctive flowers are yellow and have four petal-like structures that appear to be nodding. The plant prefers sunny areas and can be found along roadsides or riparian areas on sites with well-drained soils.

Clematis can actually kill smaller shrubs and trees by robbing them of sun and water. The sap from crushed vegetation can cause blistering of the skin. It can be controlled with herbicides or by pulling out the woody stem prior to flowering. It has been found in Glenwood Canyon along both sides of the Colorado River, as well as along the Roaring Fork River just south of Glenwood Springs.

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