Swamp Leather Flower

Amy L. Dabbs,
Clemson Extension Agent

This native, perennial vine has several common names including swamp leather flower, curly clematis, blue jasmine or curlflower. No matter what you call it, Clematis crispa, is an interesting addition to any garden adding a unique flower and vertical interest.

Swamp Leather Flower
Swamp Leather Flower
Amy Dabbs, ©2011, Clemson Extension

The bell-shaped, lightly fragrant, white, blue, pink or purple flowers emerge in mid-spring and continue throughout the summer into early fall. Interestingly, the flowers are petal-less and are comprised of joined sepals, which curve backward at the tips creating unique urn-shaped flowers. 

Clematis crispa prefers moist, organic soils, part to full sun and acidic soils. Thriving in zones 6-9 (it’s native to the southeast US) this vine will die to the ground during the winter and will reemerge reliably in early spring. Climbing 6-10 feet, this slender vine is a great choice for containers, on arbors, fences or even covering low walls. This beautiful plant also supports wildlife such as pollinating insects and birds with nectar-rich flowers and seeds.

Swamp Leather Foliage
Swamp Leather Flower Foliage
Amy Dabbs, ©2011, Clemson Extension

Page maintained by: Home & Garden Information Center

This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.