The Plant Lover's Guide to Clematis

The Plant Lover's Guide to Clematis

by Linda Beutler


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The Plant Lover's Guide to Clematis by Linda Beutler

Clematis are the royalty of climbing plants. With their lush flowers, long season of bloom, and attractive seedheads, they are eagerly sought by almost every gardener in the temperate world. The Plant Lover’s Guide to Clematis by clematis expert Linda Beutler includes information on using the plants in the garden, designing with them, and growing and maintenance tips. A plant directory highlights 196 of the best cultivars and species. Full of suggested companion plants and hundreds of gorgeous color photographs, this book covers everything a home gardener needs to introduce these delightful plants into their garden.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604696592
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/23/2016
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 780,836
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Linda Beutler grows a great variety of plants on a simple city lot in Portland, Oregon. She serves as curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection and was elected president of the International Clematis Society. Beutler has been an instructor of horticulture since 1996. She lectures nationally and is a garden writer for both local and national publications including Pacific Horticulture.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction: Why I Love Clematis
What’s not to love? There are approximately 300 Clematis species (depending on which book you read), located on all the major continents except Antarctica. (But who knows what is under that melting ice?) The plants can be small evergreen shrublets on the South Island of New Zealand (C. marmoraria), herbaceous perennials from the brutal shores of Lake Baikal in Siberia (C. integrifolia), deciduous woodland shrubs from Korea (C. urticifolia), and of course vines.

England’s only Clematis species, C. vitalba, attains enough height and weight to fell trees. There are clematis vines with no leaves (C. afoliata), and vines that prefer wet feet (C. crispa). Most clematis are proficient pollinator attractors, and some (Texas native C. carrizoensis, C. glaucophylla, C. texensis) are pollinated by hummingbirds. Some have fragrant blossoms (C. montana var. wilsonii hort., C. rehderiana). Species native to the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea flower in the winter.

Exploration and research on this far-flung genus continue apace, from Russia and China to the southeastern United States. The real miracle of Clematis is that taxonomists have not pulled it apart into dozens of little pieces.

No matter what your garden needs, there is likely at least one clematis to fill any niche you require. Modern large-flowered hybrids are available in any color except bright yellow and orange, and may be single, semidouble, and fully double (sometimes on the same vine at the same time). Clematis are being bred to stay short, flower over longer periods, or rebloom quickly, as well as to suit the demands of the cut flower industry.

And it is no longer a truism that a garden full of clematis must be a garden replete with arbors, pergolas, trellises, fences, and other built structures with which to hold clematis aloft. Vertical is not the only direction vining clematis will grow, and non-climbing clematis need not be strapped to a tuteur like a Victorian lady in a corset. In the wild, species clematis consort with other plants, either blooming concurrently or unwittingly adding interest in the wilderness when shrubby neighbors are merely being green.

You will notice asterisks next to the names of some cultivars in the 196 “clematis for the garden” entries. These 18 plants have been included in the International Clematis Society’s Clematis for Beginners list. You may safely assume any clematis making that list has been trialed all over the world and has been deemed easy to grow, dependable, and, oh yes...beautiful!

We are told one ought not have favorites in a collection. What utter nonsense! Such directives go against human nature. You see my favorite pictured here, ‘Venosa Violacea’ (Viticella Group).

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