From The Plant Encyclopedia
4 - 18
- Cultivation: Easy-To-Grow
- Light: Sun, Dappled
- Soil: Rich, Mid-Fertility, Loam, Sand
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium, Well-Drained
- Form: Shrub, Vine, Herbaceous
- Habit: Perennial
- Flower: Large, Petals, Pink, Purple, White
- Fruit/Seed: Small
- Foliage: Leaves, Green
- Uses: Ornamental
Clematis is a genus of about 300 species, of woody climbing vines, within the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is a varied genus, made up of mostly woody, deciduous climbing plants, though a few are evergreen and a few herbaceous. There is great variety in flower form, color, bloom season, foliage effect and plant height. The are very popular with gardeners and more cultivars are being produced constantly.
Popular Cultivated Species
Clematis Jackman Clematis x jackmanii
Virgin's Bower Clematis tangutica
Evergreen Clematis Clematis armandii
Growth is vigorous. The woody stems are quite fragile until several years old. The flowers are showy, having four (sometimes five to eight) petal-like sepals (no true petals) in numerous colors and shades. There are three general flower forms: small white flowers in panicles or loose and irregular spreading clusters; bell or urn-shaped flowers; and flat or open flowers. The fruit is often showy as well, being a ball shaped, "feathered" structure. Clematis can survive for 25 years or more. The large-flowered hybrids may have blooms ranging from four to ten inches in diameter and as many as 100 blooms per plant in a season.
Consider the ultimate size and vigor of the clematis being grown and match this to the support needed. Some support should be provided for vines unless they are left to scramble over walls, small trees or shrubs, or to sprawl over groundcover beds or grass. Supports must be thin and wire-like since this plant climbs by twining petioles that cannot grasp thick branches or heavy trellising. If growing clematis on a wall or fence, string galvanized or plastic coated wire to form six- to twelve-inch squares. Fasten this to the wall with eye bolts three to four inches from the wall to allow for ventilation and space for the vine to twine. Latticework or trellises can also be used if placed a few inches from the wall for ventilation and if large enough to support the vine. Poles can also be used for supporting smaller, less vigorous vines; these are isolated vertical features often surrounded by lower growing herbaceous plants. Arbors and pergolas are suitable for the larger, more vigorous types of clematis.