Oh Clematis. You are so British--or rather Chinese originally. Like most British plants, they were introduced to the island in the 18th century. Clematis’ name comes from the Ancient Greek clématis, meaning “climbing flower.” They are flowering vines with woody stalks that come in a variety of colors (white, blue, purple, pink, red, to name a few of the over 300 species). Here in Chicago they grow throughout the summer.
In Greenaway they are said to mean “mental beauty.” At first this symbolism struck me as odd, but upon further reflection I think one can draw a connection between the tangled vines bedecked with star-like flowers and the complex beauty of human intellect.
So the next time you see some clematis, don't just admire it for its beauty, but consider the hidden depths beyond its outward appearance.