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Clematis alpina ‘Stolwijk Gold’ (photo courtesy of Emerisa Gardens)
Clematis alpina ‘Stolwijk Gold’ (photo courtesy of Emerisa Gardens)

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Zone
Zones A3, 2B, 3-9, 14-17, 31-41
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Clematis viticella

Ranunculaceae
Deciduous, Vines

CLEMATIS

Of the more than 200 clematis species, most are deciduous vines; exceptions include the useful evergreen vine C. 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 viticella ‘Wisley’ (photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour)
Clematis viticella ‘Wisley’ (photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour)

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Clematis viticella

From southern Europe and western Asia. Grows to 8–10 ft., with medium green leaves comprising five to seven small leaflets. Open, bell-shaped flowers are 1 1/2–4 in. wide and come in a range of colors, depending on the variety. Provides an outstanding display of blooms in summer and fall. Very versatile; good in combination with large-flowered hybrid types. This is one of the easiest clematis to grow; very tolerant of heat and poor soil.

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