Feast your eyes on the rich red of a scarlet leatherflower, Clematis texensis, at the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County on April 8. This species is endemic to the southeastern portion of the Edwards Plateau in central Texas; in other words, it’s native nowhere else in the world. On other occasions I’ve found this species in my northwestern part of Austin and even along Onion Creek in southeast Austin, which must be the extreme eastern edge of the plant’s range.
How different in color and form the flowers of this Clematis species are from those of the much more common C. drummondii. Looking at the flowers and leaves of the two species, you’d never guess that botanists put them in the same genus.
© 2016 Steven Schwartzman