Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Stunning Saucer-Sized Blooms; Woody Climbers Clematis Produce Stunning Floral Displays in a Wide Variety of Colours and Sizes

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Stunning Saucer-Sized Blooms; Woody Climbers Clematis Produce Stunning Floral Displays in a Wide Variety of Colours and Sizes

Article excerpt

EVERY so often something comes along that just stops you in your tracks. It could be a fancy car, a beautiful woman - or a stunning plant.

One such plant that stops me and many others is the Clematis - and they are flowering now!

Clematis are woody climbers that are generally deciduous, although there are evergreen varieties.

They belong to the buttercup family. The most popular flowering varieties originate predominantly from Japan and China.

They are also known by common names such as Leathervine, Traveller's Joy and Virgin's Bower. This last name comes from a German legend that Mary and Joseph sheltered under a Clematis while fleeing Egypt.

Clematis produce stunning flowers from early spring through to autumn. Their flowers range in size from small to saucer plate. Flowers can be bell shaped, but are generally flat with 4-8 petals. Like many flowers, the petals are actually sepals.

There has been a great deal of cultivation of Clematis, resulting in vines producing stunning double blooms. There is also a wide choice of colours. Blooms of white, pink, purple, blue and yellow are available, as well as varying shades of these colours and striped flowers.

Perfect climber

CLEMATIS are vigorous climbers and will grow up a support easily. They do not require tying on. They are ideal for growing on a trellis, obelisk and arbour.

Clematis make excellent companion plants, especially with climbing roses, as they are only light climbers and can be grown through other plants without smothering them. Sometimes when grown with other plants you cannot see the Clematis plant until a beautiful flower seems to appear from nowhere.

Clematis are frost-hardy plants. During winter the stems, which are fine anyway, shrivel as though they are totally dehydrated and dead. One's natural instinct is to pull it out, however, leave well alone, as in the spring big plump buds appear from these undernourished looking stems. New growth will also emerge from the basal crown.

Clematis can be pruned back during winter, however, I never prune the ones in my garden and they still flourish. Clematis are often thought to be delicate, fussy, hard-to-grow plants, but this is not the case. …

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