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Genus Clematis Family Ranunculaceae

Description: Mostly woody climbers with twining petioles and petiolules, perennial, evergreen [or deciduous], often dioecious.

Leaves opposite, simple or compound and then pinnately or ternately divided 1–3 times.

Flowers in paniculate inflorescences [or solitary and axillary or terminal], actinomorphic, unisexual [or bisexual]. Sepals 4 or rarely more, petaloid, valvate, white or reddish [or blue or yellow]. Petals absent [or minute]. Stamens many, petaloid staminodes sometimes present. Carpels many.

Fruit a globose head of achenes, each with a persistent, elongated, often plumose style.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 250–300 species, northern & southern temperate regions. Australia: 8–10 species (1 species naturalized), all States except N.T.

Text by B. G. Briggs & R. O. Makinson
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves simple to ternate or imparipinnate, with 5(-7) or fewer leaflets, anthers with or without an apically protruding connective appendage2
Leaves biternate, triternate or flammuliform with more than 5 leaflets; anthers without an apically protuding connective appendage5
2Plants deciduous with bisexual flowersClematis montana
Plants evergreen, dioecious; (female flowers with one whorl of staminodes)
                       Back to 1
3Leaf margins usually entire; connective appendage to 0.5 mm long; tepals 0.7–2.5 cm long4
Leaf margins serrate;connective appendages 1–3 mm long; tepals 1.3–3.5 cm long
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Clematis aristata
4Achenes often with distinct longitudinal ridges on each lateral face, often more or less falcate, tepals 0.7–1.6 cm long; anthers mostly 1–1.5 mm long; connective appendage 0.2–0.5 mm longClematis pinkeringii
Achenes neither ridged nor falcate; tepals 1.1–2.5 cm long; anthers mostly 1.5–2 mm long, connective appendage 0.2–0.5 mm long
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Clematis glycinoides
5Achenes fusiform. c. 1 mm diameter; leaflets usually serrate-dentateClematis fawcettii
Achenes distictly compressed, broader than 1 mm, leaflets usually entire ot sometimes deeply lobed
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6Leaflets usually biternate with up to 9(-12) leaflets, sometimes with leaflets lobedClematis microphylla
Leaves flammuliform to triternate with more than 12 leaflets (rarely fewer in some immature leaves)
                       Back to 5
7Leaflets usually 12–15 per leaf, broadest below the middle; terminal leaflet 12–45 mm longClematis decipiens
Leaflets usually 18–36 per leaf, broadest beyond the middle towards the leaf tips; terminal leaflet 5–15 (-25) mm long
                       Back to 6
Clematis leptophylla

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