Downy clematis

Clematis macropetala

Clematis macropetala 'Blue Bird'
Photo/Illustration: 
S. Andrew Schulman
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Downy clematis (Clematis macropetala)
KLEM-ah-tiss mak-roe-PET-ah-lah
Genus:  Clematis
Downy clematis is a hardy, deciduous early bloomer that can flourish in Zone 4. The species will climb to 10 feet with a little support, and it has bell-shaped, purple-blue, almost columbine-like flowers about 1 to 2 inches, sometimes up to 4 inches in diameter, that mature to fluffy, pinkish seed heads. Blooms appear in spring and early summer, sometimes followed by a second flush in late summer to early autumn
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Very hardy. Large, purplish blue flowers and attractive seedheads.
Care:  Usually grown in sun but well suited to shade. Can be grown scrambling through low shrubs or in a tub or basket. Needs little or no pruning. They can be hard pruned to 12 inches, immediately after flowering, if they have outgrown their space. New shoots will bloom the following spring. Keep roots cool and moist and grow in fertile, well-drained, acidic soil with abundant organic matter. Plant with the top of the root ball 3 to 5 inches below the surface and provide strong support.
Propagation:  Root softwood cuttings in spring or semi-ripe cuttings in early summer.
Problems:  Wilt, powdery mildew, rust, fungal spots, and stem cankers are common. Scale insects, whiteflies, earwigs, aphids can occur.

Overview

Height
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Spread
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Habit
Runs
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Showy Flowers,
Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time
Early Spring,
Early Summer,
Late Spring,
Spring,
Summer
Flower Color
Island Paradise,
Pink Yarrow,
Niagara
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Container,
Trellis
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Vines

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