UPDATE: Mystery has been solved thanks to help from my blogging friends. The flower is Leather Flower, also called Vase Vine and Bluebill (Clematis viorna), a type of Clematis, member of the Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Thanks to botanist Tom Arbour of the Ohio Nature Blog for the specifics. Turns out I was on the right track with the Virgin's Bower similarity, as that is a type of Clematis, too. Just needed to dig deeper.
Every year I come across at least one flower that I've never seen before and cannot find in my National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers (Eastern Region). It frustrates me to no end when I can't find something in an ID book. Sometimes it's because I'm looking in the wrong place, but most of the time it's because it's just not in there (as was the case with the Carolina Cranesbill in my Lunchtime Nature Walk post , which was kindly ID'd by Jim McCormac - thanks, Jim!).
And so here I am again, left scratching my head about another flower. At least with the Cranesbill I knew it was something in the Geranium family, but this one... I have no clue. Can anyone help me here?
Clockwise from upper left: tiny flower bud; bigger flower bud, not yet opened; view of flower from below.
And these are the leaves.
The flower as it matures and goes to seed. I love the deep purple color, and how the texture has changed from something shiny to something more like sandpaper.
And here's a nice close-up look. It's a very "girly" looking flower, don't you think?
I'd appreciate any help I can get on this one. Thanks in advance!