Native plants

White clematis

Scientific name: Clematis paniculata
Maori name: puawananga
Other names: Piki-kai-arero, New Zealand clematis. Bridal Veil

Vine or creeper - native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, shade, partial shade, sunny, shelter, coastal forest garden, coastal and dune garden, small garden or balcony, wetlands and water features

About White clematis

Probably our most attractive and best known native clematis. With its climbing habit, puawananga can grow to up as much as 12 metre, covering trees or fences with splashes of lovely large white flowers from July to November. On older plants vines can grow as thick as 10 cm. The pure white flowers have 6-8 petals and measure between 4-10 cm. At the centre is a spray of yellowish stamens tipped with a faint pink. The flowers later turn into the fluffy wind-dispersed seed-heads, between October to January. These seed heads are typical of all clematis species. Female and male are on separate plants. Most plants sold by garden centres are male, as the male flowers are usually larger and are showier.
Puawānanga changes leaf shape as it grows. The dark green, leathery leaves that help distinguish the adult plant from other New Zealand clematis species. The shiny dark green leaves are branches into three and the broadly ovate leafs are 5-10cm long and 3-5cm wide with margins that are entire or with a few rounded teeth towards the tip of teh leaf. The leaves of seedlings and juveniles are much narrower. The leaflet stalks twine around trunks, branches and twigs carry it high into tree canopies or climbing frames.

Prefers to be planted a permanently damp but not sopping soil, in a situation where it can grow up into the sun. Its root stock should never be allowed to dry out.

Provides for birds

  Nectar Fruit Seeds
Key . . .

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Read more about gardening for birds or see full nectar calendar.

Provides for lizards

  • Habitat connection
  • Complexity and height
  • Clump forming for camouflage and insects
  • Nectar

Read more about gardening for lizards.

More detail