Late spring is a great season for clematis at JLBG, but one that’s particularly of interest is the recently named (2006) Clematis carrizoensis, which hails from a very small region of East Texas. It’s not been around long enough to officially be listed as Federally Endangered, but that’s most likely where it’s headed. This new species is part of what’s know as the Clematis viorna complex. In the garden, it’s a short vine, but we chose to let it have its way with a century plant, which provides a lovely structure for the months of flowering.
Clematis ‘Sapphire Indigo’ is looking quite stunning in the garden. This fascinating clematis isn’t a vine or a clump. It could be best referred to as a short sprawler. We’ve used it throughout the gardens as a groundcover filler between both shrubs and other perennials. It doesn’t actually spread, because in the winter, it dies back to a tight rootstock. We find this absolutely exceptional, flowering for us from spring through early fall. Hardiness is Zone 4a-8b.
Clematis vinacea is a recently described species of non-vining clematis, published in 2013 by plantsman Aaron Floden. In the wild, it grows in a small region on the border of Eastern Tennessee/Northern Georgia. Closely allied to Clematis viorna/Clematis crispa, Clematis vinacea is a compact, non-climbing species. For us, it makes a sprawling mound to 18″ tall x 4′ wide that flowers from May through summer. In habitat, Clematis vinacea prefers a dry, alkaline site, but it has shown good adaptability to slightly acidic soils in our trials.
Clematis ‘Sapphire Indigo’ is such a great plant in the perennial garden. This non-vining clematis makes a short clump that flowers for us from spring through summer. It weaves nicely into nearby neighbors making delightful combinations.
Another of our favorites is the amazing Clematis ‘Roguchi‘. The bell-shaped flowers come from clumping clematis species, but this one does make a short-growing vine to 6-8’ tall. Clematis ‘Roguchi’ also flowers heavily, virtually non-stop during the growing season. I can’t imagine a summer garden without this.
Here’s the seed show on the East Coast native bush clematis, Clematis ochroleuca. The flowers are nice also, but the long-lasting show are these golden seed heads.
Here’s another amazing bush clematis, Clematis recta ‘Lime Close’. This unique clematis makes a 3′ tall mound of foliage that emerges dark purple, and an incredible cloud-like show of white flowers…simply superb.