Clematis 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS

Clematis of the Month for February 2019

described by Roy Nunn


C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS©Roy Nunn

C. C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS


Clematis 'Zojohnhowells' trade name JOHN HOWELLS was raised by Wim Snoeijer in 1999 and introduced by J van Zoest BV in 2008. I became aware of this plant in 2011 on a visit to J van Zoest nursery. I was struck by the vivid red of the face of its flowers which contrasts with the pale striped colour of the rear of the flower.

Back of flower of C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS©Roy Nunn

Back of flower of C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS

It was the autumn of 2017 before I obtained a plant, after seeing examples growing in Germany and the USA and realizing that I was missing out on one of the most beautiful red flowered clematis (RHS colour, in the RED/PURPLE group N66A to N57B). Its flowers are mainly outward facing and flat, vibrant red and 60-80 mm across. It produces flowers mainly singly but three-flowered cymes are reasonably common. The broad sepals are arranged 4 to 6 with gaps between the flowers with 4 sepals and overlapping in flowers with 5 or 6 sepals. The flowers are to be seen typically in mid June to September on current seasons growth, (Pruning Group 3) growing to a height of around 3 meters.

4, 5 and 6 sepal flowers of C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS©Roy Nunn

4, 5 and 6 sepal flowers of C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS

Below C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS growing with C. 'Zoiamha' I AM HAPPY, but maybe the latter is too vigorous for JOHN HOWELLS, but I AM HAPPY is another striking clematis from J van Zoest.

C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS and C. 'Zoiamha' I AM HAPPY©Roy Nunn

C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS and C. 'Zoiamha' I AM HAPPY

John Howells the person. All should acknowledge that John was a very knowledgeable person regarding the Genus Clematis. Angela will always remember our first encounter with John. We were at Burford House, had not long been interested in Clematis and after looking round the garden, found a quiet secluded corner for Angela to have a cigarette and me to change film in my camera. John saw us and came over for a chat, he ended up sitting on the bench beside us chatting about all sorts of things. On subsequent encounters we would chat about various aspects and occasionally about Clematis. A man that was very interested in his fellow human beings, we were very privileged to know him and to become friends with his friend, Wim.

Below C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS growing with ivy (Image by Wim Snoeijer).

C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS growing with ivy©Wim Snoeijer

C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS growing with ivy

Below John Howells growing with C. ‘Little Bas’ seems a good combination. (Image by Wim Snoeijer).

C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS and C. 'Little Bas'©Wim Snoeijer

C. 'Zojohnhowells' JOHN HOWELLS and C. 'Little Bas'

Images by myself were taken in the J van Zoest Nursery and my garden. My thanks also to Wim Snoeijer for supplying some of the in-situ shots.

Roy Nunn Roy Nunn



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