So, I bought a C. terniflora last fall from some mail order place. I thought, cool, fast grower, tons of white flowers in late summer and fall when all else is ugly. Luckily, it has appeared to die--luckily because I've researched just how terribly invasive and non native (Asia) the thing was.
Which brought me to our native and very similar C. virginiana. Also a fast grower to around 15' tall, white flowers a bit earlier, pretty much the same deal. Also a bit invasive it seems, but much less, and it's native. I'd been reading horror stories about terniflora choking native woods and colonizing gardens and neighboring yards (even years after it'd been removed).
Before I went to buy a replacement, hoping to find the native locally and avoid ordering one online, I discovered nurseries may sell both under the same common name: sweet autumn clematis. Deal is, the leaves are very different, as you can see below from the first two pics (#1 is terniflora, #2 is virginiana).
At the nursery then to buy an expensive vine ($25 seems steep to me, but I know it's not for a clematis). Looking through the plants to confirm these are indeed the non native, I come across a very few labeled as terniflora, but clearly have different leaves. Huh? Could it be that among the foreign invaders some natives have been wrongly labeled? Or, is it that in the nursery trade one sweet autumn clematis really is like another no matter what? (And how stupid is that? And why are they selling the aggressive non native anyway?) You be the judge: doesn't it look like I got C. virginiana? Pat on the back anyone? I will pat myself, anyway. Pat pat pat. Ruuuuub. Ummm, that sure feels good. Want to go back to my place?