The western white clematis (Clematis ligusticifolia) belongs to Ranunculaceae (the Buttercup family). It is a deciduous shrub that is native to the western North America. This shrub grows in streamside thickets, wooded hillsides, and coniferous forests, and it can reach up to 12 m long. The leaves are odd-pinnate compound with 5-15 leaflets, each with 3 lobes, coarsely toothed. The white flowers bloom in loose clusters in mid summer. The male and female flowers on separate vines often twined together. It was also called "Pepper vine" by early travelers and pioneers of the American Old West. They used it as a pepper substitute to spice up food since real black pepper (Piper nigrum) was a costly and rarely obtainable spice.