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Any of the more than 325 species of perennial, chiefly climbing shrubs of the genus Clematis (buttercup family), found through most of the world, especially in Asia and North America. Many species are cultivated in North America for their attractive flowers, either solitary or in large clusters. The leaves usually are compound. Common species include woodbine; traveler's joy, or old-man's-beard (C. vitalba); virgin's bower (C. cirrhosa); and vine bower (C. viticella). The most popular horticultural hybrids are of primarily three species: C. florida, C. patens, and C. jackmanii.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on clematis, visit Britannica.com.