Chinese Clematis

Mystery Blossom, final stage
Mystery Blossom, final stage, also in September

Update: We figured out what this is called! 🙂 And it’s bad news! But I still think it looks pretty neat.

Name that Plant! What wild flower (read: interesting weed) starts out as a curly vine, sports lantern-shape buds that blossom into nodding yellow flowers, opens up to expose long tendrils that look like some whimsical version of the snakes on medusa’s head, and ends as fluffy as a feather? You tell me! I’ve seen this plant while hiking, and it looks to me less like a wildflower from Utah than it looks like it could have come straight from Whoville.

Every time we hike to the waterfall nearby, I notice this plant in its different stages.  I’m sure it’s a weed, but I think it’s pretty neat anyway.

Mystery Blossom
Mystery Blossom - July

This is the open blossom.
This is the open blossom, circa August

Mystery Plant Blossom, Stage 3
Mystery Plant Blossom, Stage 3, September

A cluster of stage 3 blossoms
A cluster of stage 3 blossoms

Curly vine from the mystery plant
Curly vines on the mystery plant (From July)

And Eva wins the contest! I’d tried googling a description before, but lo and behold she got it on her first try. Meet Chinese Clematis, a Class B Noxious Weed, but only in Colorado. It’s not on Utah’s list for the moment.

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