A vigorous evergreen climber festooning small trees and shrubs in a state of nature; young shoots ribbed and pubescent. Leaves of three leaflets borne on a common stalk 11⁄2 to 3 in. long. Leaflets ovate, blunt at the apex, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, entire or sometimes lobed; 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, half to two-thirds as wide, glabrous, glossy green, each on a stalk 1⁄3 to 1 in. long. Flowers unisexual, 2 to 4 in. wide on male plants, smaller in the female, produced in loose axillary panicles up to 1 ft long, each flower on a slender downy stalk which is from 11⁄2 to 41⁄2 in. long and has a pair of small bracts near the middle. Sepals usually six to eight, white, narrowly oblong, 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. wide. Stamens with yellow stalks and rose-coloured anthers. Seed-vessels downy, with a feathery tail 2 in. or more long.
Native of both islands of New Zealand, widely distributed and abundant; discovered during Capt. Cook’s first voyage; first described by J. F. Gmelin in 1791 as C. paniculata but better known under the name Willdenow gave it – C. indivisa. For the Japanese clematis named C. paniculata by Thunberg in 1794 see C. maximowicziana. Introduced in 1840.
This beautiful climber is only hardy in the milder parts of the country and is probably seen at its best in Cornwall, where there is a fine specimen at Bosahan near Helston.
cv. ‘Lobata’. – This plant, figured in Bot. Mag., t. 4398, has markedly lobed leaves but appears to fall within the normal span of variation of the type. At any rate, var. lobata, as Hooker named it, is not recognised by New Zealand botanists, who regard plants with lobed leaves as being a developmental stage towards the final state with entire leaves (Cheeseman in Trans. New Zeal. Inst., Vol. 46, 1 (1914)). Since the plant is still in cultivation, and a good form, it is as well to maintain the name in cultivar form.