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 ten main groups, each with consistent flower size, blooming season, pruning and garden use characteristics.
The Viticella group of clematis originates from Southern Europe (Italian Clematis) and includes deciduous climbing shrubs regarded as being durable, easy-care, vigorous and free-flowering.
- Thriving both in a hot Mediterranean climate and in the coolness of Northern Europe, these clematis prefer sunny positions.
- Their flowers are small to medium-size, 2-5 in. (4-13 cm), single to double, nodding and open bell-shaped.
- Their pinnate leaves, composed of 5-7 leaflets, are smaller than those of large-flowered varieties but are healthier less subject to clematis wilt. They often remain green until frost.
- They bloom profusely over a long period extending from early summer to early fall.
- 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.
- Strong-growing, these clematis can reach up to 10-15 ft. (3-5 m).
- These clematis are quite versatile. They can be trained over trellises, arbors, pergolas, arches or fences. They can grow through shrubs, climbing roses and into small trees. They can be grown in large containers if these vigorous climbing vines have room enough to grow.
Here is a list of Viticella clematis and hybrid cultivars with at least one parent mainly derived from Clematis viticella