Clematis pitcheri

Clematis pitcheri

Habitat:

Preference is partial sun, moist conditions, and soil that is loamy or rocky. Full sun and drier conditions are also tolerated, but the leaves have a tendency to turn yellow during hot dry weather. Provide a climbing frame which will allow the plant to spread out to about 3m.

Distribution:

Central and southern USA, mainly in Nebraska, western Indiana and northern regions of Texas.

Hardy to:

-25 Deg C

Flowering/Pruning:

Depending upon the local climate, flowers may appear as early as September and in colder districts December/January. Recommeded that this plant be given a hard prune in autumn.

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:

Small urned shaped flowers, purple to pink and often cream on the edges and inside. Leaves are ternate with 3 or 5 ovate leaflets.

Background:

Introduced into cultivation in 1878. Our specimen was grown from seed collected in the wild. Flowers are a blue/purple. However, in other regions it can vary a fair bit with the term “clinal” often used to describe the reasons for variations. “Clinal” means a gradual change in plant characteristics across the geographic range of a species, usually connected with an environmental transition such as altitude, temperature, or moisture. Clematis pitcheri was named by John Torrey ( 1796-1873) and Asa Gray (1810-1888), both American botantists and both highly respected in their field. The scientific relationship bewteen Gray and  Charles Darwin is fascinating, particularly over the publishing of Darwin’s “Origins of species”. A blog for another time.

Availability:

Available from Raithby Nursery