Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’


Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’      Family: Ranunculaeae
(KLEM-uh-tis  RECK-tah)

Common name: purple ground clematis
Zone: 4 – 9
Height: 3 – 5 ft (1–1.5 m)  Spread: 4 – 5 ft (1.2–1.5 m)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: humus-rich; moist; well-drained
Water: regular

Description: An herbaceous, clump-forming, non-climbing clematis with purple foliage on purple stems and panicles of small (¾-inch/1.9 cm), star-shaped, vanilla-scented white flowers from summer to fall, followed by attractive silvery seedheads.


Clematis recta - early springSpecial Notes: Native to central and southern Europe, this unique ground-sprawling clematis can be trained to climb or left to crawl along the ground. Grow in a sunny or part sun location in fertile, alkaline, well-drained soil and water regularly. Be sure to keep roots shaded and cool, as you should with all clematis.

Treat this clematis as a Group C or 3; cut back old growth to 6 – 8 inches (15 – 20 cm) in late winter, preferably to a pair of strong buds. Young foliage is coppery purple, turning to purple with tinges of green as the season progresses. Flowers appear in early summer.

No serious insect or disease problems. Propagation by division. Can be grown from ripe seed that has had a period of vernalization.


In our Zone 7a garden: We have this plant in John’s back garden. It is mostly in shade from a large Magnolia shrub which provides some relief from the hottest of the summer days. Employing several wrought iron peony rings holds the mass of stems upright to display the ground-cover plants growing at their feet…keeping the clematis roots cool.

It garners much admiration from our garden visitors, especially when it is in full bloom.


Posted on February 28, 2024

Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’

Humulus lupulus 'Aureus'

Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’     Family: Cannabaceae
(HUME-yew-luss LOOP-yew-luss)

Common name: golden hops
Zone: 4 – 8
Height:20-25 ft (6-7.5 m)  Spread:3-4 ft (0.9-1.2 m)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: average; well-draining
Water: moderate

Description: An herbaceous vine with a fairly vigorous growth habit. Attractive bright, yellow-green, 3 – 5 lobed leaves. Dioecious plant (male and female flowers on separate plants). The female plant has creamy, cone-like strobials which appear in July and August. The male flowers have small white to yellow-green flowers.


Special Notes: Native to the temperate regions of western Europe through Asia. Attractive foliage. Plant dies back in winter; can either cut vines back to ground in late winter or leave in place for new growth to scramble up. May suffer occasional fungal leaf spots or powdery mildew. Deer and rabbit resistant. Divide clumps in early spring. Remove any wayward suckers.


Caution: Stems have tiny spines which can cause skin irritation.


RHS Award of Garden Merit 1993; Great Plant Pick 2006


Posted on October 19, 2012


Clematis viticella ‘Polish Spirit’

Clematis viticella 'Polish Spirit'

Clematis viticella ‘Polish Spirit’
(KLEM-uh-tis vih-tih-CHELL-ah)
Family: Ranunculaceae

Common name: clematis
Zone: 4 – 9
Height: 15-20 ft (4.5-6 m) Spread: 3-5 ft (0.9-1.5 m)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: humus-rich; well-draining
Water: regular

Description: A vigorous growing, deciduous vine. Masses of 3 – 4 inch (7.5 – 10 cm) velvety, violet-blue flowers are set off by rich, dark green leaves appear in mid- to late-June straight through until a killing frost.


Special Notes: This cultivar of clematis was discovered in the monastery garden in Warsaw, Poland of the well-known clematis breeder, Brother Stefan Franczak, in 1984. Plant 2 year old seedlings 12 – 18 inches (30 – 45 cm) deep in a well-prepared hole amended with compost or well-aged manure and a complete fertilizer. Pruning Group C (or Group 3); flowers on new wood. Cut vine back to 12 inches (30 cm) in late winter or early spring. Best to strap vine if grown on a trellis and exposed to high winds. Very easy care; relatively pest and disease free, including clematis wilt. Propagation by internodal cuttings in spring.

RHS Award of Garden Merit 1993; Great Plant Pick 2002


Posted on October 12, 2012


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