Clematis fauriei
Clematis fauriei©Roy Nunn

Clematis of the Month for February 2006


Section - Atragene
Subsection - Atragene
Distribution - Japan Northern Honshu
Flowering (in the wild) - May to June (repeat flowering to October), (in Sweden) September to October, (in England) April to May (repeat flowering to October)
Habitat - Mountain Woods 1000 to 2000 metres elevation
First Recorded - in Bulletin de l'Herbier Boissier, 1899
Distinguishing Features - Flowers Dark Purple Violet, with re-curved, hood-like, thick, tepal tips. The bulky staminoides and stamens bent inwards on the outside

I planted Clematis fauriei in my garden in 1999, in a shady position to grow between C. macropetala 'Wesselton' and C. viticella 'Flore Pleno' (Mary Rose) It is growing in very alkaline soil, but in a reasonably damp position, which does not seem to dry out in summer as other parts of the garden tend to do. In this time it achieves a maximum height of 2 metres. And flowers profusely from May and into the first week of June, but it does repeat flower on that years growth. The later flowers can be lost amongst the abundant flowers of Mary Rose, which starts to flower from July onwards, but it contrasts very well with the sky blue flowers of C. macropetala 'Wesselton'.

C. fauriei©Roy NunnIn our garden it does not make a large plant, but a specimen growing outside the Botanic Garden in Helsinki, Finland had reached a size of 4 metres by 3 metres, which would indicate hardiness as far as the British climate is concerned.

Pruning is more of a tidying exercise after it has finished its first flush of flowers, but it is advisable to cut back about a third of the existing stems to about 50 cm at this time of year to encourage growth from low down.

C. fauriei is not seen very often in cultivation, possibly because of its very dark purple flowers, but the flowers do contrast wonderfully well with its bright green, bronze tinged foliage, but it has been used in the cultivation of some pretty hybrids, namely; C. 'Albina Plena', C. 'Blue Scent', C. 'Cinderella', C. 'Clochette Pride' (originally named 'Campanulina Plena'), C. 'Crispata', C. 'Georg', C. 'Lilac Beauty' (originally named 'Lilacina') and C. 'Red Beetroot Beauty' (originally named 'Betina'), to name but a few.


Roy Nunn Roy Nunn


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