Saturday, 12 May 2018

Clematis cartmanii

About 3-4 years ago we - Chris and I - bought a plant of Clematis cartmanii. It turned out to be a very attractive climber and so we bought a second specimen. What at the time I hadn't realised is that this 'species' is a hybrid, the parents being two New Zealand species, Clematis marmoraria and C.  paniculata. Furthermore the cross between these two species has been made on a number of occasions, each time with a slightly different result. The consequence is that we have finished up with two forms of the hybrid.
We grow two forms of Clematis cartmanni. Stefen Hill, Daventry.
12 May, 2018
The differences are obvious: the first plant we bought was the form with smaller flowers and green centres. Small it may be but it is a prolific flowerer but neither this nor the larger version are equipped with tendrils; instead the petioles - leaf stems - will curl around suitable twigs or other projections. We constantly have to tie in the straggly branches.
On the left is an example of the four-petalled flower occasionally
produced. 12 May, 2018
The flowers of the larger form have more impact and, interestingly, a four 'petalled' flower is frequently produced. In this form the flower resembles our native Clematis vitalba or Traveller's Joy. The 'petals' are of course really sepals with a petaloid form. Interestingly the parents, Clematis marmoraria and C. paniculata are attractive species in their own right although the flowers of the former are rather small. They are not commonly seen in cultivation outside larger collections.
Our native Clematis vitalba produces four-petalled flowers.
Northampton General Hospital, August, 2017

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