Beautiful things are not always good ▪ Clematis viticella, Purple clematis, Italian clematis, pianta velenosa ⑫

Clematis viticella, Purple clematis, is a climbing plant belonging to the family of Ranuncolaceae, with bell-shaped flowers which consist of four purple or violet-blue tepals and creamy-yellow anthers. In the spring, the stems show green sprouts.

Clematis viticella is a very toxic plant, even after cooking. Be careful with young sprouts, not to be confused with Clematis vitalba [1].

All parts of Clematis viticella contain various cardiac glycosides as well as ranunculin, a glucoside which breaks down into the toxin protoanemonin in the digestive system. This toxin can cause neurological and cardiac disturbances [2].

Clematis viticella, poisonous plant

Giovanna Masini


[1] Clematis viticella, Natural resources conservation service PLANT Database, USDA, 2016

[2] Nancy J. Turner, Patrick von Aderkas, The North American guide to common poisonous plants and mushrooms

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