Black Country Bugle
SPOTLIGHT ON: LATE-FLOWERING CLEMATIS
Think clematis and it’s usually the large-flowered hybrids that spring to mind, but, just when the best-known plants are reaching their finale, more are poised to take over.
These late bloomers aren’t as over the top as the summer sort, but they are impressive.
The ones you’ll most easily find are small-flowered varieties of Clematis viticella. Their flowers look similar to large-flowered hybrids but are smaller, about 2.5in across.
They flower into October so there’s a bit of overlap with the last of the large varieties, which gives your border a boost when it needs it.
Small-flowered hybrid clematis have charm.
There are singles with extraordinarily clear bright colours, such as Polish Spirit, and unusual two-tone effects such as the stunning greentipped white Alba Luxurians and the must-have Minuet with small cream flowers edged with mauve.
One of my faves is Purpurea Plena Elegans, which has double mauve-purple flounced rosettes.
All Viticella clematis are great for growing up trellis screens, metal wigwams or through trees and large shrubs where they’ll reach between 10ft and 20ft.
Pruning is optional, either hard prune in February or simply leave them alone.