Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Purple leatherflower producing seeds

with 7 comments

Clematis pitcheri Green Seed Core 4485

Click for greater clarity.

In the last posts you saw a slightly open bud and then a flower of Clematis pitcheri, known as purple leatherflower. Now, skipping ahead in the plant’s development, here’s a view of a seed core that’s newly formed, as you can see from its pale green color. You also begin to see the resemblance to the much more common species in central Texas, Clematis drummondii, even if the leatherflower’s strands seem uninterestingly simple by comparison.

This picture is yet another one from my visit to Hamilton Pool Preserve on August 19th. The photograph’s background color is from the Pedernales River, which this purple leatherflower vine overlooked from a bluff.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2013 at 6:16 AM

7 Responses

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  1. This is a really nice look at the developing seed head, Steve. Very prolific little producer too.

    Steve Gingold

    September 19, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    • I try to accumulate pictures showing plants at different times in their lives (although the flowering stage often predominates, for obvious reasons). I’m glad you like this developmental seed stage.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 19, 2013 at 2:14 PM

  2. Looks a lot like several other varieties of Clematis’s seedheads, doesn’t it. Very silky. I do enjoy Clematis. Clemates? Clematii? Clematicae? Gosh, plant nomenclature is complicated. 😀


    September 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    • For those of us who have no Latin smarts, that is.


      September 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      • I imagine, technically speaking, that the plural of Clematis (which Latin borrowed from Greek) should be Clemates (cf. thesis, theses; analysis, analyses), but I’m not aware of anybody who writes that form. I looked through dictionary after dictionary that gave no plural till I finally came to Cambridge Dictionaries Online, which claims that the plural is the same as the singular.

        For me, of the three species native to central Texas, Clematis drummondii has by far the most exciting seed heads.

        Steve Schwartzman

        September 19, 2013 at 5:01 PM

  3. What a great plant. As you say, it’s more obviously a relative of Clematis drummondii in this form. Now that I know where Clematis crispa is growing, I may be able to catch it in the process of producing seeds. It’s right at the edge of the Brazos, in an area that doesn’t look like it’s been trimmed all spring, so it may be that whoever’s responsible will leave the plants alone.


    May 26, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    • It is a great plant, and like the Clematis crispa you found, this one also grows in some parts of your area. If you gather seeds from either, you could try to plant some in an appropriate place. Let’s hope the mower holds off till then.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 26, 2014 at 2:23 PM

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