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Clematis hybrids ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’

Ranunculaceae
Deciduous, Vines

CLEMATIS

Of the more than 200 clematis species, most are deciduous vines; exceptions include useful evergreen vine Clematis armandii, as well as some interesting upright herbaceous types.

Attractive blooms come in a wide variety of shapes; they may resemble bells, stars, tulips, saucers, urns—even miniature lanterns. Each flower consists of a central brush of stamens surrounded by petallike segments called sepals. Range of flower colors is wide, from pastel pinks to crimson red; periwinkle blue through soft lavender shades, rich magenta, and dark purple; and pure white through creamy tones and even golden yellow. Unless otherwise specified, blooms are 4–6 in. across. Float cut flowers in a bowl of water to make a choice indoor display. Burn cut ends of stems with a match to make flowers last longer. The blossoms of the large-flowered hybrids and a few species are followed by fluffy clusters of seed heads, also useful for flower arrangements.

Leaves vary from pale to dark green, usually divided into leaflets. Leafstalks twist and curl to hold plant to its support.

Clematis hybrids

These deciduous vines grow 6–10 ft. tall, unless otherwise noted. Flowers of most are saucer shaped and 6–8 in. across. Although there are hundreds of large-flowered hybrids in commerce, local nurseries usually offer only a limited selection of the old favorites and perhaps some of the newer, branded varieties sold as Signature, Patio, and Garland clematis. Mail-order catalogs are the best source for collectors seeking the new and different.

‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’

Bright mauve-pink flowers.

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Clematis hybrids ‘Little Duckling’

Pastel pink petals have purplish pink bars. Compact grower to about 6 ft.

Clematis hybrids ‘Ernest Markham’

Vivid magenta-red flowers on fast-growing stems up to 12 ft. long.

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