arhs Yachts International
arhs Yachts International

Clematis macropetala

By Roslyn Duffus

I love the various members of the genus Clematis and have many in my garden. With the right selections, you can have clematis species flowering from May to October. Some will even give you flowers on the previous season’s growth in the spring and then a second flowering on the current season’s growth in the fall.

I have a particular fondness for the small flowered varieties that seem more closely related to the species than their large flowered hybrid cousins. I am particularly happy with some I have grown from seed, C. macropetala being one of them. This plant came from a seed lot that originated with a hybrid C. macropetala ‘Maidwell Hall’ and I don’t know how close to its parent my plant is. It is an early bloomer, flowering on last season’s growth in late May or early June. If pruning is done, it should be done immediately after flowering in order to allow good growth through the summer; this will result in good flowering the following spring. According to the Reader’s Digest Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, “flowers appear semi-double, having four long sepals with shorter petaloid stamens within; the outer stamens are blue and the inner ones cream.” This is a pretty good description of my plant.

Every spring, as the garden is coming back to life, I have to remind myself to leave the vine strictly alone. Even though the stems look shredded and dead at first, they usually come into terrific growth and flower beautifully. The plant should be placed as recommended, in good humus rich, well drained soil with a little lime added. Compost spread around the base in spring is helpful and a little more feeding could be done after flowering. The seed heads are attractive in the garden after the flowers have faded and last well into the summer. I have planted some of the seed from my plant and had one seedling produce pure white flowers. If there had been room to plant more, who knows what other colours I might have got.