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