Is it a shrub?

Is it herbaceous?

Who knows?

We guess it is whatever you want it to be!

Clematis heracleifolia is in flower now.

Great if your taste is for clematis which are not soup plates!

It is hardly even recognisably a clematis.

Useful to extend the season of borders that have done their stuff early:

It is a clematis which can be treated as a herbaceous plant and cut down annually or allowed to develop woody stems which you tie into a wall.

It will extend to some some 2 0r 2.5 metres.

There is no doubt in my mind that cutting to the ground reinvigorates. and it is better on the west wall than the east. 

Just cannot get enough of this milky, smokey blue!

Jouiniana praecox, to which it is related, does it too. But that is more recognisably a clematis and certainly is only a climber.