Clematis terniflora is a plant in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. It is native to northeastern Asia. It was introduced into the United States in the late 1800s as an ornamental garden plant, and has naturalized in many of the eastern states.
Clematis terniflora, commonly called sweet autumn clematis is a fragrant fall-bloomer. It is a vigorous, deciduous, twining vine with an extremely rampant growth habit. If given support, it will climb rapidly with the aid of tendrilous leaf petioles to 20-25' in length. Without support, it will sprawl along the ground as a dense, tangled ground cover (to 6-12" tall and 10' wide) which typically chokes out most weeds. Features aromatic, 1" diameter, cruciform, pure white flowers (each with 4 narrow petal-like sepals) in terminal panicles from late August to October in a profuse bloom which typically covers the foliage. Flowers give way to attractive, plume-like seed heads. Compound, leathery-textured, shiny green leaves (3-5 oval to elliptic leaflets with cordate bases). Sweet autumn clematis can aggressively self-seed in the landscape.