Clematis 'Alionushka'
Clematis 'Alionushka'©Ton Hannink

Clematis of the Month for September 2007

Clematis 'Alionushka' is one of a growing number of Clematis integrifolia hybrids which wins in popularity due to their size, shape, hardy nature and lack of wilting. This cultivar was created by A.H. Volosenko-Valensis and M. A. Beskaravajnaja in the Botanic gardens in the Crimea in 1961. It is a crossing between C. 'Nezhdannyi' × C. integrifolia.

Alionushka, a girls name in Russia, can be found spelt in several different ways such as 'Aljenushka'; 'Alyonushka', 'Aljonushka'; integrifolia 'Aljonushka'.

Clematis 'Alionushka'©Ton Hannink It has been a couple of years since this clematis was introduced in Western Europe and nowadays it is a very popular clematis in the garden and can be found in the catalogues of most clematis nurseries.

The plant has pretty nodding pink flowers with fleshy, often twisted tepals, and a darker bar. The anthers are pale yellow-green. The size of the flower is 5-8 cm (2 - 3 inches) and during the whole summer there are a lot of flowers. Flowering time is early summer to early autumn. C. 'Alionushka' grows to a height of approximately 180 cms (6 feet). The plant can be hard pruned in spring.

Clematis 'Alionushka'©Ton Hannink This clematis is recommended for growing through medium sized shrubs, which will provide some support, or allowed to scramble through and over prostrate shrubs and conifers. C. 'Alionushka' is a clematis which can be used very well in a typical English border between perennial plants so that the flowers come suddenly above the garden plants.

Clematis 'Alionushka'©Ton HanninkCombinations with roses of the same size and other small climbing plants give a splendid combination in the garden because C. 'Alionushka' is not a very fast growing plant and does not overgrow other plants. C. 'Alionushka' is also suitable for a small to medium sized obelisk, but need help to climb, by regular tying-in. However it is not very good for a fence because the height is too low and the plant does not climb.

It is not sensitive for most diseases, therefore the plant is very useful for every gardener from beginner to experienced. For this reason the plant is featured on the International Clematis Society's Recommended Clematis list.

'Alionushka' was awarded with an RHS Award of Merit in 1995 and a British Clematis Society Certificate of Merit in 1998.

Ton Hannink Ton Hannink

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