As climbers, Clematis are unsurpassed in their long flowering presence, their rich diversity of flower shapes, their wide array of colors and tolerances in terms of exposure and climate. It is no wonder they are so popular! From tree huggers to container varieties, there is a Clematis for every garden and flowers for almost every month of the year!
Members of the Ranunculaceae family, Clematis include more than 300 species, hundreds of hybrids and are divided into 12 main groups, each with consistent flower size, blooming season, pruning and garden use characteristics.
The small-flowered Orientalis group contains the truly yellow clematis. Mostly originating from central Europe and Asia, this group comprises species such as Clematis orientalis, Clematis serratifolia, Clematis tangutica or Clematis tibetana. Used to harsh conditions in their native environment, these vigorous clematis enjoy so much our temperate conditions that some have ended up on invasive or noxious plant lists.
- Their bright yellow flowers are small, lantern- or star-shaped and often nodding. Each flower produces showy pom-pom like seedheads with silvery silken tails that persist and disperse over the winter and early spring months.
- They bloom profusely from mid-late summer to fall and make a particular conspicuous appearance in autumn when color has disappeared elsewhere in the garden.
- Strong-growing, these clematis are deciduous vines or scrambling shrubs that grow rapidly, at least three feet of growth per year (90 cm) from sprouts or existing stems. They can reach 15-20 ft. (4-6 m).
- These Oriental clematis can be trained over arbors, pergolas or fences. They partner well will the biggest rambler roses and create a stunning effect in conifers that tolerate some companionship.
- Since they bloom on the current year's shoots, they belong to the pruning group 3. They should be pruned in late winter or early spring and require 'hard pruning'. Simply cut back the stems to a pair of strong buds about 1ft. (30 cm) above ground level before growth begins in early spring.