Climbing Plants – Clematis

Trees & ShrubsFlowering Trees & Shrubs – Climbing plants – Clematis

CLEMATIS. Clematis is a genus of about 300 species within the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. Their garden hybrids have been popular among gardeners, beginning with Clematis × jackmanii, a garden standby since 1862; more hybrid cultivars are being produced constantly. They are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin. Most species are known as clematis in English, while some are also known as traveller’s joy, a name invented for the sole British native, C. vitalba, by the herbalist John Gerard; virgin’s bower for C. viticella; old man’s beard, applied to several with prominent seedheads; and leather flower or vase vine for the North American Clematis viorna.

2015-04-06-16.26.45-300x225 Climbing Plants - ClematisClematis – Armandii – LondonTreeSurgeons

CLEMATIS ALPINA (syn Atragene alpina, A. austriaca and A. siberica).—Europe and North America. This is a climbing species with bi-ternately divided leaves, and large flowers with four blue sepals and ten to twelve small flattened organs, which are usually termed petals.

C. CIRRHOSA.—Evergreen Virgin’s Bower. Spain, 1596. An interesting, early-flowering species. The flowers, which are greenish-white, are produced in bunches and very effective. It is an evergreen species, of comparative hardihood, and flowers well in sheltered situations.

C. FLAMMULA.—Virgin’s Bower. France, 1596. This old and well-known plant is quite hardy in this country. The leaves are pinnate, and the flowers white and fragrant. C. Flammula rubro-marginata is a worthy and beautiful-leaved variety.

C. FLORIDA.—Japan, 1776. This is a beautiful species, and an old inhabitant of English gardens. Leaves composed of usually three oval-shaped leaflets, and unusually bright of tint. The flowers are very large, and pure white. It should be planted in a warm sheltered corner against a wall.

C. GRAVEOLENS.—This is a dwarf shrub, with neatly tripinnate leaves, and solitary, strongly-scented yellow flowers of medium size. A native of Chinese Tartary, and quite hardy.

C. LANUGINOSA.—China, 1851. A handsome species, with large purple leaves that are hairy on the under sides. Flowers pale blue or lilac, very large, and composed of six or eight spreading sepals. C. lanuginosa pallida has immense flowers, often fully half a foot in diameter. Flowers in June.

C. MONTANA.—Nepaul, 1831. This is valuable on account of its flowering in May. It is a free-growing species, with trifoliolate leaves on long footstalks, and large white flowers. C. montana grandiflora is a beautiful variety, having large white flowers so abundantly produced as to hide the foliage. It is quite hardy and of rampant growth.

C. PATENS (syns C. caerulea and C. azurea grandiflora).—Japan, 1836. This has large, pale-violet flowers, and is the parent of many single and double flowered forms. The typical form is, however, very deserving of cultivation, on account of the freedom with which it blooms during June and July from the wood of the previous year. It is perfectly hardy even in the far north.

C. VIORNA.—Leather Flower. United States. This is a showy, small-flowered species, the flowers being campanulate, greenish-white within and purplish without. C. Viorna coccinea is not yet well known, but is one of the prettiest of the small-flowered section. The flowers, which are leathery as in the species, are of a beautiful vermilion on the outside and yellow within.

C. VITALBA.—Lady’s Bower, or Old Man’s Beard. A handsome native climbing shrub, common in limestone or chalky districts, and unusually abundant in the southern English counties. Clambering over some neglected fence, often to nearly 20 feet in height, this vigorous-growing plant is seen to best advantage, the three or five-lobed leaves and festoons of greenish-white, fragrant flowers, succeeded by the curious and attractive feathery carpels, render the plant one of the most distinct and desirable of our native wildlings flowering in August.

C. VITICELLA.—Spain, 1569. This is a well-known species of not too rampant growth, and a native of Spain and Italy. The flowers vary a good deal in colour, but in the typical plant they are reddish-purple and produced throughout the summer. Crossed with C. lanuginosa, this species has produced many ornamental and beautiful hybrids, one of the finest and most popular being C. Jackmanii.

C. WILLIAMSI (syn C. Fortunei).—Japan, 1863. The fragrant, white flowers of this species are semi-double, and consist of about 100 oblong-lanceolate sepals narrowed to the base. The leathery leaves are trifoliolate with heart-shaped leaflets. It proves quite hardy, and has several varieties.

GARDEN VARIETIES.—As well as the above there are many beautiful garden hybrids, some of which in point of floral colouring far outvie the parent forms. Included in the following list are a few of the most beautiful kinds:—

Alba Victor. Alexandra. Beauty of Worcester. Belle of Woking. Blue Gem. Duchess of Edinburgh. Edith Jackman. Fairy Queen. John Gould Veitch. Lady Bovill. Lord Beaconsfield. Lucie Lemoine. Madame Baron Veillard. Miss Bateman. Mrs. A. Jackman. Othello. Prince of Wales. Rubella. Star of India. Stella. Venus Victrix. William Kennett.

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