Over 200 species of deciduous or evergreen, semi-woody to woody climbers or subshrubs. Leaves are simple or compound, usually opposite; petioles are often twisted and, in the climbing species, provide support by twining around almost anything they contact. The flower is composed of 4-8 sepals, true petals are absent, the sepals are sometimes referred to as tepals. Fruits (achenes) are dispersed by the wind, aided by long feathery, persistent styles.
Clematis: from the Greek clema, a tendril, the name applied to a number of climbing plants.