Wild clematis, a climbing vine plant belonging to the Buttercup family, exists in more than 300 species. Gardeners enjoy the brilliant beauty of the plant, although it is a highly invasive species, which also grows in the wild without restraint.
Wild clematis consists of a woody evergreen vine with an alternating growth of leaves and flowers. The colors vary on the flowers, which contain four to eight petal parts. Left alone, wild clematis grows into a treelike canopy by the leaves wrapping around any nearby support structure.
Wild clematis prefers cool soil with mulch covering the root base in a garden. They can suffer from a disease called clematis wilt, which is caused by a fungus. Prune affected stems 2 inches below the origin of infection.
A German legend states Mary and the baby Jesus traveled under a shelter of clematis on their way to Egypt.
All species of clematis, including wild clematis, contain harmful toxins. Children or pets that inadvertently eat them experience severe mouth pain.