Not to be semantically confused with : Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) or False Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus vitacea) [plants with similar names that have a scrambling or climbing habit]
Easily mis-identified as : another garden Clematis but one which has no wild presence in the UK
Erect Clematis (Clematis recta) which also has erect panicles of flowers, but is more able to stand up on its own two feet rather than need the support of a surrogate shrub.
Many similarities to : Traveller's Joy (Clematis vitalba) which has stubbier petals (actually sepals) and creamy-white flower (rather than white), toothed leaves and the branches are 1-pinnate (rather than 2-pinnate) but are twisted and bent forwards. The sepals are hairy on the outside rather than hairless and although the flowers are in similar panicles, in Traveller's Joy the panicles are set more or less horizontal rather than upright). While the branches are all still set at 90°, in Traveller's Joy they thereafter wiggle about a lot looking to gain purchase on another plant, whereas in Virgin's Bower they are much straighter, having less need of external support. The stems are less weakly ribbed on Virgin's Bower than on Traveller's Joy
The flowers have some similarity to those of White Bryony (Bryonia dioica), in that the petals (actually sepals) are hairy (in the case of Virgin's Bower, hairy only on the lower surface) and curl backwards but they have four petals rather than five. Other than the flowers, the plants are totally different.
Virgin's Bower is un-likely to be found growing wild except in very few places on the cliffs or sand dunes of the South Coast. Also on scrub, hedgerows and old walls. It is much more likely to be found growing in someone's garden, as here. The flowers have a faint pleasant smell more noticeable en-masse. They, unusually for a member of the Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae), have four white petals (actually sepals). It flowers for a month longer than does Traveller's Joy. Unlike Traveller's Joy the plant is 2-pinnate (rather than 1-pinate), with diametrically opposite branches set at right angles endowing it with a most distinctive arrangement which is much more able to stand up for itself rather than rely solely on other nearby plants for a leg up. Nonetheless, it is found intermingling with other shrubs for support.
The fruiting-head looks similar to that of : Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris), but the hairy filaments of Virgin's Bower curl over and are more dense.