Herb: Rock Clematis

Latin name: Clematis columbiana

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Medicinal use of Rock Clematis:

A poultice of the pounded, dampened leaves has been applied to the feet to treat sweaty feet. A cold infusion of the plant can be used as a lotion on swollen knees and ankles. The plant has been used as a head wash and to treat scabs and eczema.

Description of the plant:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Dry to moist soils of woods and thickets, from valleys to around 2,500 metres in the mountains.

Other uses of Rock Clematis:

The seed floss makes an excellent tinder for starting fires, a spark from a flint will quickly ignite it. The seed floss can be used as an insulation in shoes etc. An infusion of the leaves alone, or the leaves and stems, has been used as a hair wash to prevent gray hair.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed as soon as it is obtained in a cold frame. Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and remove as much of the tail and outer coat as possible. A period of cold stratification is beneficial. The seed germinates in 1 - 9 months or more at 20C. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Internodal cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, late spring in sandy soil in a frame. Layering of old stems in late winter or early spring. Layering of current seasons growth in early summer.

Cultivation of Rock Clematis:

Dry to moist soils of woods and thickets, from valleys to around 2,500 metres in the mountains.

Known hazards of Clematis columbiana:

Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, some if not all members of this genus are mildly poisonous. The toxic principle is dissipated by heat or by drying.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.