Six-petal clematis (Clematis hexapetala)

Dmitry Poltavsky - Clematis hexapetala

Clematis hexapetala is a perennial with pure white flowers. Was described by Peter Simon von Pallas in 1776. Clematis hexapetala is native to China, Korea, Mongolia and eastern Siberia. Clematis is a genus of about 300 species within the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. They are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin. The genus name is from Ancient Greek Clematis (a climbing plant). The wild Clematis species native to China made their way into Japanese gardens by the 17th century. Japanese garden selections were the first exotic clematises to reach European gardens, in the 18th century, long before the Chinese species were identified in their native habitat at the end of the 19th century. After it arrived in Europe, it acquired several meanings during the Victorian era, famous for its nuanced flower symbolism. It came to symbolize both mental beauty and art as well as poverty. The entire genus contains essential oils and compounds which are extremely irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. Despite its toxicity, Native Americans used very small amounts of clematis as an effective treatment for migraine headaches and nervous disorders. It was also used as an effective treatment of skin infections.