Clematis lasiandra

Clematis lasiandra

Habitat:

Open areas with access to a shrub or tree to climb through. Adaptable to light and medium loam.

Distribution:

Central and southern China (except the tropical regions), Japan at low elevations and Taiwan.

Hardy to:

-12Deg C.

Flowering/Pruning:

Flowering time is generally early summer. Very adaptable to different soils types. Pruning is undertaken in early spring and involves the removal of dead or sick looking stems and reducing the specimen to two main leaders.

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:

The flowers of  are campanulate, whitish or more or less strongly tinged in purple-violet, strongest on the inside. The flowers are 10-20 mm across, and the tepal roll back at the tip. They are borne in short lateral cymes, 2-3 flowers, on the current season stems. The leaves are bipinnate to biternate and dark green.

Background:

First mention of this species was made by the Russian botantist Carl Maximowic in a scientific magazine published in 1877. We refer you to Rosa maximowicziana for more information concerning his life. C. lasiandra was introduced into cultivation from China in 1900 the very famous plant hunter E.H. Wilson. Such a fascinating man. Volumes have been written about this man and his exploits. We don’t have volumes of space but here is a brief account of his life. He was born in 1876 in Gloucestershire, England. On leaving school at the age of 13 he was apprenticed at the nurseries of Messrs Hewitt of Solihull in Warwickshire. Later In 1893, at the age of 16, he was employed as a gardener at the Birmingham Botanic Garden. In 1897 at the age of 21, Wilson left Birmingham and started work at Kew Gardens. Soon afterwards, Kew’s director, William Thistleton-Dyer, recommended Wilson to the Chelsea-based nursery firm of James Veitch and Sons as someone particularly well-suited to be trained to travel to China in order to collect and bring back seeds. Wilson signed a three-year agreement with Veitch.

In 1899, Wilson embarked on his first trip to China . Upon his arrival in Hong Kong, Wilson first went to south west Yunnan to meet with the amateur botanist and plant collector, Dr Augustine Henry in Szemao. He then travelled from Shanghai to Ichang (Yichang) on the Yangtsze River, in the heart of China, arriving in early 1900. For the next two years this became the headquarters from which Wilson made his – at times – treacherous and often physically challenging botanical explorations.  In 1902, Wilson married Ellen Ganderton. Six months later, he returned to China, From 1903 to 1904 he collected over 500 seed samples and 2400 herbarium specimens. He also started contributing regularly to the periodical press, publishing a series of articles in the Gardeners’ Chronicle. Wilson returned to England in 1905 and in 1906 was appointed botanical assistant at the Imperial Institute of Science in London. from 1907 to 1909 Wilson explored western Hupeh and western Szechuan.

Wilson’s success as a collector led to a second Chinese expedition for them in 1910, this time to collect cones and conifer seeds in the central and southwestern parts of China.This would, however, prove to be one of his most dangerous plant hunts: when he was travelling between Sungpan and Chentu in September 1910, his sedan chair was caught in a landslide. Wilson broke his leg in two places in the accident and was lamed, suffering from what he referred to as his ‘lily limp’ for the rest of his life. In January 1914 he went to Japan, where he chiefly collected blossoming Japanese cherries as well as Kurume azaleas for the Arnold Arboretum. After returning to Boston in 1915, Wilson went on to collect in the Japanese islands of Bonin, Liukiu, and Formosa. Two years later he was in north Korea and Taiwan. Over the course of these trips, he gathered seeds, living plants and 30,000 herbarium specimens reflecting some 3,000 species in the region. In 1916, he published Cherries of Japan and Conifers and Taxads of Japan followed, in 1917 by Aristocrats of the Gardens. After the war, in 1919, Wilson was appointed assistant director of the Arnold Arboretum. A year later he published The Romance of Our Trees and embarked on yet another plant-hunting expedition, this time to Australia and New Zealand, Java, Malaya, India and South Africa. In 1921, he published A Monograph on Azaleas (in collaboration with Rehder).

Wilson returned to the Arnold Arboretum a year or so later and from 1922 to 1927 taught there. In 1925, he published Lilies of Eastern China and America’s Greatest Garden: the Arnold Arboretum, followed by a second edition of Aristocrats of the Garden in 1926. In 1927 Wilson became the Arboretum’s keeper. Sadly on the 15 October 1930, Wilson, along with his wife, died in a car accident outside Worcester, Massachusetts.