Eazy Gardening

Fragrant and Toxic: Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ for Your Garden

Clematis x triternata Rubromarginata: A Fragrant and Deciduous Vine for Your Garden

Clematis, commonly known as clematis or leatherflower, is a beautiful and versatile genus of climbing vines that will bring color, fragrance, and texture to your garden. One of the most impressive and widely grown species is Clematis x triternata Rubromarginata, also known as Red-margin Leatherflower.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about this delightful plant, including its common names, characteristics, growing conditions, care and maintenance, and potential pest and disease issues.

Overview of the plant

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is a woody deciduous vine that belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. This unique plant is native to southeastern North America and can grow up to 20 feet long, with a spread of 3 to 6 feet.

This plant is a hybrid of two other clematis species – Clematis flammula and Clematis terniflora – and is known for its beautiful fragrant flowers and bright red stems that contrast with its lush green leaves. Common names, vernacular names

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is widely recognized by its common name Red-margin Leatherflower.

Other vernacular names include Sweet Autumn Clematis and Autumn Clematis.

Description of the plant

One of the most striking features of the Red-margin Leatherflower is its dense clusters of small white fragrant flowers that bloom in early fall and linger until late autumn. The flowers are about 1 inch in diameter and have four petal-like sepals that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

As the flowers fade, they give way to fluffy silver plumes of seeds that remain attractive throughout winter. The leaves of Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ are bright green, glossy, and oblong in shape.

They have a trifoliate arrangement, with three leaflets that are about 1 to 2 inches long. The stems of this clematis vine are bright red and become slightly woody as the plant matures.


This vine is a late bloomer and probably one of the most fragrant of all clematis species. The Red-margin Leatherflower has a sweet vanilla-like fragrance that fills the air near the vine, making it the perfect addition to any garden.

This plant is deciduous, meaning it sheds its leaves in the fall, creating piles of leaves around its base. The Red-margin Leatherflower is a fast-growing and climbing vine that can reach heights of up to 20 feet.

This vine blooms profusely in fall, making it an excellent choice for trellises, arbors, and fences. The Red-margin Leatherflower can also be grown successfully on walls, pillars, and posts, adding vertical interest to both the backyard and front yard landscape.

Garden benefits

Clematis x triternata Rubromarginata is an excellent choice for wildlife enthusiasts as its fragrant flowers are a great source of nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies. The fluffy seeds that follow serve as a food source for songbirds and critters throughout winter.

The plant also acts as a beneficial pollinator, attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden.

Plant cultivation and care

Preferred growing conditions

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is a hardy plant that thrives in well-drained soil and prefers moist but not waterlogged conditions. To maintain the vine’s health, it is recommended that you water it deeply once a week during the growing season.

In areas with dry climates, the plant may require more frequent watering. The plant can grow in full sun to partial shade, although it prefers moist soil when grown in full sun.

If growing in partial shade, the plant can withstand slightly drier soil conditions, but you should still water it regularly. Be sure to mulch the base of the plant with organic matter, such as compost, to keep the soil moist and prevent weed growth.

Pest and disease issues

Like other clematis, the Red-margin Leatherflower is prone to some pests and diseases, including spider mites, aphids, slugs, and snails. If left untreated, these pests can damage the plant and reduce its overall health.

To prevent pest infestations, you can use insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils that do not harm beneficial insects such as bees. It is also recommended that you prune your plant regularly and remove any dead or diseased stems to improve its appearance and overall health.

Planting and maintenance tips

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care once established. To plant this vine, choose a location that receives full sun to partial shade, has well-draining soil, and is protected from strong winds.

Dig a hole that is twice as large as the plant’s root ball and place the vine in the hole. Fill the hole with soil and water the plant thoroughly.

During the growing season, you can train the plant by tying it to a trellis or a wire frame until it can climb on its own. Prune your plant in the late winter or early spring, removing any weak or dead stems.

You should also remove any old and woody stems, leaving only the young and healthy ones. Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ blooms on new wood, so pruning it annually is essential to promote vigorous growth and abundant blooming.


Clematis x triternata Rubromarginata is a charming and fragrant vine that is sure to add colorful accents to your garden. Growing and caring for this vine is relatively easy.

The plant benefits wildlife by attracting beneficial pollinators, making it a great choice for pollinator gardens. In conclusion, this plant is an elegant way to add vertical interest to your garden, and you should consider planting it if you want to bring vibrant colors and sweet fragrance to your garden.

Plant Propagation and Adaptations of Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is a fragrant deciduous vine that produces abundant white flowers in the late summer and fall. The plant’s bright green leaves, red stems, and fragrant blooms make it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add a pop of color to their landscape.

Gardeners can also choose to propagate the Red-margin Leatherflower using sexual or asexual reproduction. Additionally, like all plants, Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ has adaptations that enable it to thrive in different environments.

Plant Propagation Methods

Sexual Propagation

Sexual reproduction occurs when plants produce seeds. Propagation through seeds is a simple way to grow new plants.

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ produces fluffy plumes of seeds in the fall that can be used to propagate new plants. To grow this plant from seed, gardeners must collect the seeds from the mature plant in the fall and allow them to dry out before planting them in moist soil in the spring.

Before planting, scarify the seeds by rubbing them gently with sandpaper, as this will help to speed up germination. Gardeners should then plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and keep the soil moist while waiting for the seeds to germinate, which usually takes about two to three weeks.

Once the seedlings are established, they can be transplanted to their permanent location.

Asexual Propagation

Asexual propagation is the process of producing new plants using parts of an existing plant, excluding the use of seeds. Asexual propagation ensures that the new plants are genetically identical to the parent plant, which can lead to uniformity in characteristics.

Gardeners can propagate Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ asexually through layering, stem cutting, and division. Layering is the process of bending a branch to the ground and covering part of it with soil, allowing it to form roots.

To propagate the Red-margin Leatherflower by layering, select a healthy branch that is flexible enough to bend to the ground without breaking. After removing the leaves and roughing up the bark of the branch’s section, bury the branch in the soil, leaving a portion of the branch exposed.

Over time, the buried portion of the branch will form roots, and the gardener can then cut the branch free from the parent plant and transplant it. Stem cutting is another method to propagate Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata.’ To propagate by cutting, the gardener will take a cutting from a healthy stem, cutting it to about 6 to 8 inches long.

After removing the lower leaves, the gardener should dip the cut end in rooting hormone and plant it in a moist, well-draining soil mixture. The cutting should be kept warm and moist while roots develop, which can take 4 to 6 weeks.

Once roots are established, the plant can be transplanted to a more permanent location. Gardeners can also propagate this vine through division, which involves separating the plant’s root clump into multiple parts, each containing one or more stems and roots.

To do this, the gardener should dig up the entire plant, ensuring that each portion of the root system is healthy and has a sufficient number of stems and leaves. The gardener can then use sharp, sterile scissors to divide the plant into several portions, each with roots and leaves.

These portions can then be replanted.

Plant Adaptations

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ has several adaptations that allow it to thrive in different environments. One of the most common adaptations of this plant is its climbing habit.

This vine climbs using twining stems, enabling it to anchor itself to other plants or structures, including arbors, walls, and trellises. As a deciduous vine, the Red-margin Leatherflower is adapted to the season changes.

In autumn, the plant’s leaves turn yellow and fall to the ground, allowing the vine to conserve resources during the winter. The vine’s bright red stems provide ample support to its flowers, enabling the plant to grow tall.

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is also adapted to attract pollinators. The plant’s fragrant blooms are a source of nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies, while its fluffy silver plumes of seeds provide food for birds during the winter.

Finally, the plant’s deep root system is an adaptation that allows it to absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil. This enables the plant to tolerate both drought and periods of heavy rainfall, ensuring that the vine survives in various soil types.


Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is a beautiful deciduous vine with fragrant white blooms and bright red stems that are perfect for a garden. Gardeners can propagate this vine using either sexual or asexual methods to produce a genetically identical plant.

Additionally, the plant has several adaptations, including its climbing habit, deciduous nature, pollinator attraction, and deep root system, which make it suitable for a wide range of environments. With these attributes, the Red-margin Leatherflower is an excellent plant choice for gardeners looking to add color and fragrance to their landscape.

Using Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ in Indoor and Outdoor Settings

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is a beautiful deciduous vine that is perfect for enhancing the beauty of both indoor and outdoor settings. This plant’s bright green leaves, red stems, and fragrant blooms make it an attractive addition to any garden or indoor space.

In this article, we’ll discuss the ways in which this plant can be used in indoor and outdoor settings to create stunning and unique displays.

Using in Indoor Settings

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is not commonly used as an indoor plant, as it is a vine that requires a lot of space to grow. However, this plant can be grown indoors with proper care and maintenance.

To grow this plant indoors, you should select a container that is large enough for the plant’s root system and allows room for growth. Be sure to use a well-draining potting soil mix and provide your plant with a stable trellis or stake for climbing.

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ prefers well-draining soil, so avoid over-watering. Allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again.

This plant also prefers a temperature range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so avoid placing it in areas with extreme temperatures or drafts. When placing Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ in an indoor setting, choose a position with bright indirect sunlight.

The vine can also tolerate partial shade, but it may not bloom as prolifically in dimly lit areas.

Using in Outdoor Settings

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is an ideal choice for gardeners looking to add height and color to their outdoor spaces. The vine’s vibrant blooms and bright red stems can add interest to patios, decks, pergolas, and other outdoor structures.

When using this plant in outdoor settings, you should choose a spot that receives partial shade to full sun. The plant performs best in moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.

Avoid planting it in clay or waterlogged soils. The vine’s climbing habit requires sturdy support.

You can provide this support by using trellises, wire frames, or arbors. The support structure should be firmly anchored into the ground, allowing the vine to climb safely.

Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ requires proper care to thrive in an outdoor setting. Water the plant deeply during the growing season, approximately once a week, and reduce watering during winter when the plant is dormant.

Fertilize your plants once or twice a year with a well-balanced fertilizer. The vine requires pruning annually to promote healthy growth and abundant blooming.

Prune your plant in winter or early spring, removing any dead, weak, or diseased stems.


Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is an attractive and versatile plant that can add interest to any indoor or outdoor space. You can use this plant in an indoor setting, ensuring that it has ample space to climb, access to bright indirect sunlight, and a supportive trellis.

The plant can also be used in an outdoor setting, where you can plant it in moist, well-drained soil, provide sturdy support, and ensure proper pruning and care. With its attractive foliage and fragrant flowers, Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is an ideal choice for adding height and color to any home or garden.

Toxicity of Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ to


Horses, and


While Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is a beautiful and fragrant vine, it is important to note that certain parts of the plant are toxic to pets, horses, and humans. The plant contains a compound called anemonin, which is toxic if ingested in large quantities.


Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ can be toxic to cats, dogs, and other household pets. Ingestion of any part of the plant can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive salivation.

Other symptoms may include tremors, seizures, and convulsions. In severe cases, it can even cause cardiac arrest and death.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested any part of the Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata,’ it is essential that you contact your veterinarian immediately. Early intervention can save your pet’s life.

To prevent your pets from being exposed to the plant, always keep it out of their reach.


Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ can also be toxic to horses. If ingested, the plant’s toxins can lead to colic, diarrhea, laminitis, and even death.

Horses that consume large quantities of the plant can experience seizures, respiratory distress, and cardiac arrhythmia. Prevention is the best method for avoiding exposure of horses to the plant.

When grazing horses in areas with wild-growing plants, ensure that they do not eat any plant that is not part of their regular diet.


Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is generally considered non-toxic to humans, but people with sensitive skin may experience mild skin irritation from contact with the plant. Ingestion of the plant’s parts can also cause digestive discomfort.

If you are pruning or handling the plant in any way, it is essential to wear gloves and long sleeves to avoid skin irritation. Gardeners should also be careful to wash hands thoroughly after contact.


While Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ is a beautiful and attractive plant established in most gardens, it is essential to be aware of the plant’s toxicity to pets and horses. Exposure to any part of the plant can be harmful and, in some cases, even deadly.

By keeping your pets and horses away from the plant, you can help to reduce the risk of exposure. As a gardener, it is essential to take steps to minimize exposure to the plant, such as wearing gloves and long-sleeved shirts and washing hands thoroughly after handling.

With proper care and protection, you can continue to enjoy the plant’s beauty while ensuring the safety of your pets, horses, and yourself.

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