Clematis fremontii

Clematis fremontii

Habitat:

Suitable for an open position in well drained soil.

Distribution:

Central USA including Kansas and southern Nebraska.

Hardy to:

-25 deg C

Flowering/Pruning:

This is a non climbing species and following flowering (mid Spring) should be cut back to the base of the plant. Flowers are generally purple with cream edging.

Feeding/Cultivation:

Regular feeding during the growing season and summer months with a long term blood and bone and sulphate of potash mix (10:1) + foliar feeding using for example Powerfeed or a mix of Powerfeed and seaweed solution (3:1).

Description:

A dwarf species producing short 30cm stems. Flowers are nodding to half nodding,  solitary and terminal. It forms dense foliage clumps over time. Foliage is topped with solitary, narrow, purple to white, bell-shaped flowers often with recurved sepals.

Historical Connections:

The species is named after John C. Fremont, the 19th century American explorer who first discovered the plant, and is sometimes commonly referred to as Fremont’s leather flower.    A very interesting man was Mr. Fremont. He was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1813.  For a time, Fremont made his home in California, but he was unable to exploit successfully the rich gold-bearing veins on his large estate of Las Mariposas. California became a state in 1850, and he served briefly as one of its United States senators. In 1856 he was the Republican Party’s first candidate for president, but lost to Democrat James Buchanan. Early in the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln gave him command of the Union Army’s Western Department, only to remove him one hundred days later when Fremont foolishly ordered property held by Missouri rebels confiscated and their slaves freed. Fremont would serve as governor of Arizona Territory from 1878 to 1881, but most of his post-Civil War career was consumed by speculative activities in western mines, land, and railroads. He died in virtual poverty in New York City in 1890. We will leave it up to you the reader to determine if he had a string of bad luck or whether he continously failed to accept that he had limited skills.

Availability:

Generally not available. Available from the nursery in 2017.

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Posted on

January 23, 2018