Mystery Solved: Wild Clematis around Portland

by Shasta Cascade on March 9, 2017

I’ve been a beekeeper for about a decade, with experience raising and caring for honeybees both here in Oregon, and previously in California. Each January, my father and I carefully watch the shrubbery and vegetation for the first signs of spring.

After doing this for a number of years, we know exactly what flowers bloom when, and in what order.It’s like a grand orchestrated symphony of nature…each plant is like a musical instrument that contributes to the overall score.

The data that we collect is critical for the management of bees. If we fire up the hives too early, we have to feed the bees powdered sugar until there are enough blossoms outside for them to sustain themselves. If we don’t feed them, they will run out of food and starve to death.

As of March 2017, the normal spring bloom is about one month behind schedule, due to the icy weather we experienced earlier in the year.

Therefore, I was puzzled when I started noticing white blooms around town on certain trees. Make a long story short, the mystery plant turned out to be Wild Clematis. It is originally from the UK/Western Europe, but it is dangerously invasive here in the Pacific Northwest.

Here are some raw photos….I’ll get this fixed up when I have more time.


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