Clematis 'Fragrant Spring'
Clematis 'Fragrant Spring'©Ton Hannink

Clematis of the Month for October 2007


Clematis 'Fragrant Spring' is a montana. It was raised by Proefstation voor de Boomkwekerij in Boskoop, The Netherlands and introduced in 1992 in the Netherlands. Most of our montanas come from the well-known Asian forms, the species itself, C. montana, and its variants. Nowadays we have a lot of cultivars from several countries of the world, although the wish of most gardeners is to have a scented montana of a smaller size.

C. 'Fragrant Spring'©Ton HanninkMontanas have a bad name among gardeners because they are not hardy enough and the size of the plant after some years is too big. Though they have limited tolerance for cold and heat and bloom but once each year, the montanas are among the most loved of clematis wherever they can be grown. And the reasons are simple: they are big (5-10 meters), strong, and quick-growing, they put on a spectacular outpouring of bloom in the spring and early summer; and the flowers of most of them are deliciously scented.

C. 'Fragrant Spring'©Ton HanninkClematis 'Fragrant Spring' grows very fast in one season and in this time the new stems can reach about 3 meters. The plant has healthy dark toothy leaves divided in threes. The colour of the young stems is dark. The flowers have four tepals and are clear pink. This montana has fragrant flowers just as some other montanas. So if you buy this clematis, then the best time is in the spring when they are in flower, so that you can smell the scent. Flowering time is spring till early summer. At that time the plant is full of flowers so that you have as pink wall. In autumn you get a second flowering time but only with a few flowers.

Pruning time is directly after flowering, otherwise you get only a fraction of the flowers that you expect because you will have removed the flowering stems of the next season. Also you should only prune the smaller stems, otherwise you risk the plant dying. I have had this experience twice, but fortunately I had made cuttings before I started with pruning. Start with pruning the young plants so that you get a plant with a lot of stems in the lower part of the plant, otherwise you create the typical problem with clematis that you have only leaves and flowers at 2-3 meters height.

This clematis is very useful to climb in trees so that in spring you have a beautiful tree with flowers before the tree itself has his own blossom. You must choose the right combination of tree and clematis otherwise you will lose your tree or you must prune the clematis very hard. 'Fragrant Spring' can spread out along walls and fences, so give the plant enough room to let it can grow as it wants.

Montanas are not suitable for countries occupying zones 6-9. In colder zones there is the possibility that they will come through the winter but they will not give any flowers in spring.

Clematis 'Fragrant Spring' is a clematis suitable for every gardener with or without experience, but the plant needs enough room.


Ton Hannink Ton Hannink



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