Clematis armandii (Evergreen Clematis) – This vigorous evergreen vine climbs to 15 feet and as wide using tendrils and is densely covered with pendulous compound leaves with 3 long lance-shaped leaflets that are up to 5 inches long and a bronze color when first emerging, then turning a glossy dark green with age. In late winter to early spring appear the clusters of fragrant 2 1/2 inch wide white flowers on the previous year’s growth. Plant in sun or light shade with moderate water – shade is a must in hotter inland gardens but on the coast it tolerates deep shade but blooms best with bright light or full sun. It is hardy to around 10 degrees F (and some claim it can be grown in USDA Zone 6a to -10 °F). It is susceptible to leaf burn if water quality is poor. Best if pruned right after flowering to clear out dead foliage and to control growth. With its several annual growth flushes, even after pruning it will rapidly rebound to create a dense cover and grow new flowering stems for the following year. It provides a wonderful texture in the garden and makes a great screening plant that is attractive in our out of bloom. It is reported to be resistant to deer predation with flowers attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Evergreen Clematis naturally inhabits forests, forest margins and riparian areas from just over 300 feet to nearly 8,000 feet in elevation in central to southern China and northern Myanmar. The genus name is from Ancient Greek ‘clématis’ which was the name for a climbing plant and may have as a root the Greek word ‘klema’ which means “a twig” or “a branch”. The specific epithet given this plant in 1885 by the French botanist Adrien René Franchet honors the French Missionary botanist Père Armand David (1826-1900) who first collected the type specimen. This vine was first introduced into cultivation in England in 1900 and in the US in 1934 by the Bureau of Plant Industry (USDA). We have been growing this great plant since 1982. The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery’s garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Clematis armandii.
- How to: grow clematis
- One of the great rewards for enduring a cool climate winter is the flowers that bloom in spring, and clematis is one of our favourites.
- Attention-seeking flowers cover a romantically twining vine that sets off rose gardens and perennial borders beautifully. Not for temperate or tropical gardeners, this treat is only for those who garden where frosts really bite. Melissa King tells how its done.
- Try these tips for a spectacular flowering display:
- Ask Mr. Smarty Plants
- What vine to choose in pacific northwest?
- Types Of Clematis Plants: What Clematis Variety Do I Have
- What Clematis Variety Do I Have?
- Clematis Varieties by Form
- Evergreen Forms of Clematis
How to: grow clematis
Photo – photolibary.com
One of the great rewards for enduring a cool climate winter is the flowers that bloom in spring, and clematis is one of our favourites.
There’s an elegance and exoticism about the big single star-like flowers of clematis that grabs attention. Many of the hybrids are extravagant and large-flowered, though there are also double-flowering varieties some, with blooms that are remarkably tulip-like.
Although the deciduous varieties are better-known, there are also evergreen types. Some clematis form shrubby plants, perfect for pots, others are vigorous climbers that can be grown up pergolas or through climbing roses and flowering apples. Some varieties also have very attractive seed heads so don’t be too quick to prune off the faded blooms.
Try these tips for a spectacular flowering display:
Spring is a good time for planting: choose a position where the roots are shaded but the top of the plant can grow into the sunshine.
Good drainage is vital, so treat heavy soils with gypsum and organic matter or grow the plants in large pots. The large-flowered hybrids can be planted deeper than normal to promote more resilient, multi-stemmed plants: remove some of the bottom leaves and bury the lower two or three nodes.
Clematis doesn’t like to dry out. Ideally the soil will be moist but never water-logged. Water deeply two or three times a week during summer, more in extreme conditions. Mulch in spring.
Apply a complete liquid food once a week from late winter-early spring onwards. When the flower buds are roughly the size of a pea stop fertilising and then commence again once the spring flush has finished.
Spring-flowering hybrids flower on older wood, so prune lightly in winter, and then more severely after blooming. They will re-flower late summer-autumn. Mid- and late-flowering varieties, however, produce blooms on new growth so should be pruned back hard in winter – to 20-30 cm above the ground. They put on growth quickly and will be flowering again in about eight weeks. If you’re unsure what you are growing, play it safe and stick to the first method of pruning.
Text: Melissa King
When designing a garden, we often think of its structure in only two dimensions: width and depth. Climbing plants add height. And they have such small footprints that you can place them almost anywhere. Vigorous growers like annual moonflower vine can start as a seed in spring and grow 30 feet by fall.
I’ve seen a climbing rose called Zepherine Drouhin cover an ugly chain-link fence in less than two months, then start to clamber over the eaves of a two-story house. And most climbers can bloom as vigorously as they grow. This rose covered herself in hundreds of deep pink blooms. Wisteria, clematis and morning glory all flower profusely, too. (Check with a local garden center, horticulture office or garden extension to find out which varieties are appropriate for your area.)
Annual vines like cup-and-saucer vine, cardinal vine, Spanish flag, nasturtium, black-eyed Susan vine and hyacinth bean grow slowly in early spring, and then kick into overdrive in summer. Once they start flowering, nothing stops them until cold weather shuts them down in late fall.
Use them for continuous color, and to fill in blank spots in the garden while waiting for permanent plants to take over. Annuals are also light enough to need only temporary supports, like netting or simple twine strings. You can remove these supports for the winter and keep the yard looking neat.
Perennial vines like trumpet creeper, honeysuckle and kiwi offer color and texture year after year. Most get pretty substantial over time, and require sturdy, permanent supports. Because these vines are mostly deciduous, it helps to have a decorative support that will look good in winter when the vines have lost their foliage.
Some perennial vines, such as clematis, can be pruned back almost to the ground every fall. For these, a sturdy but temporary support, such as chicken wire supported by hooks on a post and beam framework, can be taken down in the winter if desired.
Vines climb in three ways.
Twining vines, like morning glory and star jasmine, spiral their entire stem around anything with which they cone into contact. They need thin supports such as string or lattice. They won’t spiral up anything as large as a tree trunk.
Many vines, like grape or clematis, use a special modified leaf called a tendril that twists tightly around thin supports like netting and wire. A few vines, like Boston ivy, use tiny discs to glue themselves to surfaces, or wedge themselves into cracks with tiny clusters of short roots, like winter creeper and English ivy.
They might make a house or garden wall look stately and venerable, but think twice about letting them climb the walls; those little suckers and roots embed themselves permanently and eventually shift shingles, enlarge cracks and degrade even the toughest materials, like brick or concrete.
Many vines have specific pruning requirements, even within the same species. But, in general, keep vines attractive and healthy by removing about one-third of the old wood every year to make room for new growth; thin overcrowded plants to let air and sunshine reach the centers; do any heavy pruning in the winter when the vines are dormant; and prune dead, diseased and damaged wood back to a strong, healthy bud.
Lovely as most are, some vines are thugs that can grow out of control and quickly take over a garden. Although they’re attractive, you may want to pass on growing porcelain vine, oriental bittersweet, Japanese honeysuckle, moonseed vine and other aggressive or invasive climbers that may be specific to your area. Your agricultural-extension-service office will be glad to give you a local list of undesirables and invasives.
Joe Lamp’l, host of “Growing a Greener World”on PBS, is a Master Gardener and author. For more information visit www.joegardener.com.
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Wednesday – June 30, 2010
From: Eugene, OR
Title: Native Vines for Pacific Northwest
Answered by: Janice Kvale
Hello, I recently built a shed/pen for my large dog. I have a trellis horizontal above the fence to hide the shed from street. I live in Pacific NW. Do you have any suggestions on a nontoxic evergreen vine that does well in zone 4-6? I lost my star jasmine this year and I have snowdrift clematis (which sometimes I have lost also or it turns brown through winter) on my front fence and was hoping for something different. I love Boston ivy in the fall but I believe it isn’t evergreen and I know English ivy is poisonous. Thank you.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center focuses solely on native plants. None of the vines you mention – star jasmine, snowdrift clematis, Boston ivy and English ivy – are native to North America. Although the clematis may be a cutivar of a native, it is listed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a non-native.
I applaud you for looking for native vines for your project. Because they are in an environment they love, natives are more likely to flourish where exotic plants either struggle to survive or are so aggressive that they crowd out native species thus reducing biodiversity. Natives will reward you with a beauty that is more likely to be hardy and require less maintenance. This article mentions some other advantages of going native in your landscape.
Use our database to explore the vines for yourself. To do that, click on Plant Database, then scroll down to Combination Search. Enter your state, perennial vines, and the amount of light and moisture in your planting site. Read descriptions carefully as native plants may have different requirements depending on whether you are east or west of the Cascade Mountains, and many vines have toxic parts. Likewise, you can find Suppliers of native plants on our site as well. Read how to plant natives here.
The following are some suggestions to provide a screen for your shed. All are non-toxic but may be deciduous. Two are pictured below and the rest on the links as indicated.
Lonicera ciliosa (orange honeysuckle) will produce red/orange blossoms that attract humingbirds from May to July.
Calystegia sepium (hedge false bindweed)looks like a white morning glory blooming from May to September, prolific to the point of being a pest. Provide plenty of space for spreading.
Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine) blooms in various colors from May to July in any kind of soil and any amount of light. Photo here.
Rubus leucodermis (whitebark raspberry) complete with thorns that may prevent the dog from tearing it up. White or pink blossoms appear in April and May. Photo here.
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape) with fragrant yellow-green blossoms is a hardy and tolerant vine that is fast growing and long lived. Photo here.
Vitis californica (California wild grape) is an aggressive vine blooming fragrant yellow-green blossoms in May and June. This may require more maintenance than you want to do to keep it cut back. Photo here.
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What vine to choose in pacific northwest?
The morning glory is pretty, but is annual. Also tends to readily self seed itself and be a bit invasive. Clematis is a wonderful choice if you can get it to take. For some reason on my property it keeps getting clematis wilt and dying off.
Other possibilities: trumpet creeper, it may take a year or two to get well established, then it takes off and gets HUGE and hummingbirds love it. Honeysuckle trumpet vine (Lonicera spp) there are native and exotic species of this. It is better behaved than the trumpet creeper, grows rapidly but doesn’t get so huge or pop up other places. And hummingbirds adore this one too — it’s their favorite thing in my whole garden
Other possibilities for perennial vines: Caroline jessamine, climbing hydrangea, passion flower, grapes (not showy flowers, but think about going out and picking grapes , and the foliage is pretty), or the classic American wisteria.
If you don’t mind doing annuals cardinal climber is one of my favorites, because it’s another one that the hummingbirds love (I’m sort of a nut about hummingbirds, you can tell). I always have some on the trellis on my deck so that hummingbirds come visit me on the deck. Also moonflower is very exotic and tropical looking, huge fragrant white flowers that bloom at night. Mine are still blooming.
Types Of Clematis Plants: What Clematis Variety Do I Have
There are a couple of ways to classify clematis. One is by pruning group, and the other is as an evergreen or tender vine. There are also bush clematis plants, which are different than the vine variety. Whichever type you choose to grow, you can’t do better than a glorious clematis color show in your garden.
Clematis is a familiar flowering plant with a great diversity of form, color and complexity. The plants have different bloom sites, so pruning by Class is important. Additionally, it is best to know if you have a bush or vine clematis, as support needs will vary and they should be trained when young. For year around greenery, an evergreen clematis can’t be beat.
What Clematis Variety Do I Have?
You may have inherited a plant and have no idea what kind is in your garden. This happens to new home owners quite frequently and they have to wing it on the care and pruning of the plant. The pruning class is the most important to know. This is because different types of
clematis bloom off of different levels of growth.
Class 1 clematis bloom off of old wood while Class 3 plants bloom off of new wood. The Class 2 clematis bloom off both old and new wood and produce blooms twice in the season. That’s why it’s important to know the pruning class or you may prune your clematis at the wrong time and cut off the wood that was supposed to produce the magnificent flowers. If in doubt, you will have to experiment by trimming at least a couple of vines and then watching to see if they bloom.
Clematis Varieties by Form
The classic climbing clematis vines are probably most familiar to gardeners. However, there are also bush clematis plants that grow as shrubs or in upright forms. These grow 20 inches to 3 feet depending on species. Mongolian Snowflakes, Tube and Fremont’s clematis are examples of these.
Trailing or rock garden clematis produce stems that crawl along the soil surface and make attractive ground covers. Some clematis varieties in this form would be Ground, Mongolian Gold and Sugarbowl.
Beautiful but easy to grow climbing clematis vines such as Bees Jubilee, with mauve blooms, or C. macropetala, with blue flowers, produce blooms up to 5 inches across. Crimson Ville de Lyon and magenta C. viticella ‘Grandiflora Sanguinea’ will add vibrancy and punch to the landscape.
Evergreen Forms of Clematis
Cultural care of evergreen clematis is similar to deciduous forms. The beauty of these hardy vines is their glossy arrow-shaped leaves, which persist year around and form vibrant shields and accents. Evergreen clematis bloom in late winter to early spring and in temperate climates is one of the first vines to flower.
The variety is Armand’s clematis and it produces heavenly white blooms with a gentle fragrance. Evergreen clematis is in pruning group 1. As with other climbing clematis vines, the plant will require training and support but is otherwise a no fuss alternative to the deciduous varieties.