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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Native Clematis

One of my favorite plants here in the garden is the native clematis that grows at the front corner of the garage.

I bought a little start of the plant several years ago at the wildflower festival during the wildflower weekend at Cheekwood, the Tennessee Botanical Garden in Nashville. All they told me was that it was a native clematis. I searched and finally found its name and some information about it. It is Bluebill, Vase Vine, Leather Flower (Clematis viorna), and what a charmer it is!

It is probably the cutest, daintiest little thing on the place. One year it took its delicate, dainty self upward growing on a bold, large Common Mullein and it was a marriage made in heaven. Never! could I have thought of such a perfect union. The tragic thing about it is: I didn't get a photograph of the two. That grieves me still. I may try transplanting a tiny mullein seedling there sometime to see if I can get a repeat.

Here are some photos to show you what I am writing and going on about. It might help to click on some of the photos to enlarge.

The tiny blooms make me think of little thimbles.

And to give you some idea of scale...

It has climbed...

...and climbed...

..until the blah, green-in-summer Burning Bush (Euonymus alata)
was properly decorated. By the time the shrub turns fiery red, the clematis will have fuzzy seed heads.

Seed heads green.

Seed heads fuzzy.

Stretching to the sun.

Ta-Dah! Fully decorated.
(Click for the most delightful view.)


Lucy Corrander said...

Having a plant like that from when it is very small and watching over it as it grows must be such a pleasure.


Barbee' said...

Hi Lucy, Yes -- most of the time. Then there was the time that it was accidentally broken by well-meaning helper trying to help it reach a support, and the other time another helper thought it was a weed vine and pulled it. I almost wept, but it came back from the roots. Now, I am interested in trying to propagate some babies.

Cinj said...

Wow Barbee, that's a nice plant. I get it will look terrific when the burning bush starts to burn. You'll really be able to see it then!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Very nice.

Balisha said...

I don't know a whole lot about clematis vines. I didn't realize there were native clematis. I have a small one that came from out of nowhere this year and have been wondering how this happened.

Barbee' said...

That sounds like it might be interesting to watch it and see what it turns out to be. There is an invasive kind, but I forget which one it is, perhaps Sweet autumn clematis (Clematis paniculata) or Virgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana.) I don't think they are native, not sure. Hope an invasive one hasn't landed on you. I don't have time to Google those right now. People are waiting for me. Any way it sounds interesting.

Barbee' said...

Hello Cinj, I hope so. The vine is large enough this year to finally show up pretty good on that bush.

Hi Debbi, glad you like it. When I bought it I thought she meant it was native to Tennessee, but now I find out that it is in other states, too. I guess she meant native to North America.

Sue said...

This was a fun post! I had a small yellow blooming clematis that I think was native, for around 9 years, but it didn't come back this spring. It grew up a front yard light with a sweet potato vine that was supposed to be an annual, but it is covering the supports we have for it, and reaching to the sky, like it always does.

Barbee' said...

Hello Sue, I have seen photos of the yellow one. Too bad it didn't come back. I guess plants are like people in that they do not live forever. That sweet potato vine sounds like a buster. I wonder if it killed out the clematis. Thank you for visiting and leaving your comment. I will try to keep mine protected from too much competition.