Clematis viticella subsp. campaniflora
Clematis viticella subsp. campaniflora©Ton Hannink

Clematis of the Month for December 2007

C. viticella subsp. campaniflora©Ton HanninkA hardy species, native to Portugal and southeast Spain. In the north east of Portugal, close to the border of Spain, is situated the nature park Montesinho and it is here that C. viticella subsp. campaniflora can be found growing in the wild. However most locations for this species are in Spain.

This species is closely related to viticella, having a similar growth habit but differing in a number of other respects. The flowers are a rather different shape and are broader, campanulate and with sepals only narrowly flared toward the tip.

The colour of the flowers is white with a violet wash in some cases and creamy stamens. Some clones are whiter than others. Most of my seedlings in the third generation are almost pure white.

Small bell-shaped nodding flowers are borne singly or in small panicles from July to September. The height of the plant is 3 - 6 metres (10 - 20 feet).

The plant can cover an area 3 metres x 3 metres and has a lot of flowers. So although the flowers are quite small, C. viticella subsp. campaniflora makes up for this in quantity.

After the flowers the seed heads appears, with very big seeds for the size of flowers.

The best place in the garden is a sunny position, by a fence, tall shrub or over a support with a dark background so that the small white flowers are very visible. This species can be used very well in combination with other plants such as roses because the plant does not grow too unmanageably.

C. viticella subsp. campaniflora tolerates most kind of soil. Given sufficient fertilizer and water in spring and summer, the plant grows fast. It is a very useful species in the garden and good for every kind of gardener. The plant is not sensitive for diseases and healthy the whole season.

The plant can be pruned hard - Group 3.

The plant can be propagated easily from seeds. By only the second year you will have flowers to let you make your selection and, because not all these seedlings give white blooms, you may even find flowers such as 'Lisboa'.

C. viticella subsp. campaniflora seedling©Ton Hannink C. viticella subsp. campaniflora seedling©Ton Hannink

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