Clematis 'Cleminov 51' SAPHIRA® INDIGO

Clematis of the Month for July 2016


C. 'Cleminov 51' SAPHIRA® INDIGO©Roy Nunn

C. 'Cleminov 51' SAPHIRA® INDIGO©Roy NunnAfter seeing Clematis 'Cleminov 51' SAPHIRA® INDIGO in full flower in Early July 2014 in Debbie Fischer's garden in Washington State, USA, and being impressed by its colour and ability to flower well in a relatively shady position, I decided to see if I could purchase this plant in the UK, only to find that no nurseries seemed to stock this plant. The ever helpful Manfred Westphal catalogue listed this plant and a plant was soon on its way from Germany to us. Planted in the garden soon after arrival I was expecting it to flower this year, but due to a very cold wet and dull spring and summer the plant is still not in flower, but is showing potential.

On researching the origin of this plant the usual valuable sources were not that helpful, namely the International Clematis Register and the Hull Website. The only information available was that the breeder was not declared, but the registrant is named as INRA/SAPHINOV and the plant was awarded a bronze medal at the Plantarium Boskoop in 2004.

As far as I can find out from various internet sources the plant was hybridized in France by Laurence Arene-Querand, but also a reference to being raised by The Conrad-Pyle Company and has been marketed by the SAPHO group.

SAPHO is located in the first horticultural region of France and is quoted as having a long standing experience in the business of vegetable novelties selection. Their aim is to:

The exact date of introduction is not clear but SAPHO makes this comment on its website: "Exceptional flowering and low growth with this, the oldest variety of the SAPHYRA® range". INRA/SAPHO goes back as far as 1972 or 1974 so can only have been introduced after the latter date, but possibly as late as 1988 when SAPHYRA registration mark became in general use.

C. 'Cleminov 51' SAPHIRA® INDIGO is a cross between Clematis × diversifolia 'Olgae' and C. 'The President', is quoted as growing 1.2 to 1.5 metres (4 to 5 feet) but the plant in Debbie Fischer's garden was all of 7 feet tall, possibly due to a favourable climate and the excellent growing skills of the owner. The blue indigo flowers (close to RHS 94A Violet Blue) are from 70 to 100mm, (3 to 4 inches) in diameter, has 4 to 6 sepals and has dark purple anthers and filaments on first opening fading to greyish purple in a mature flower. Not unlike others in the Diversifolia group this plant has a reasonably long flowering period given suitable conditions it will flower from June to September.

Roy Nunn Roy Nunn



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