Each year I seem to grow more and more fond of clematis. From May to October different types of clematis put on a massive display of flowers. My favorites are; 1)Early large flowering Clematis, blooming abundantly in May-June and repeat a little in August-September f.ex. 'Multi-blue and 'Miss Batemann'. 2) Late large flowering clematis blooming July-September f.ex. 'Jackmanii Superba' and 'Gypsy Queen and 3) Late small flowering clematis - f.ex. clematis Viticella 'Polish Spirit' and 'Royal Velours'. I am especially fond of clematis in the blue, purple and burgundy colour range.
16 years ago I took some cuttings from a clematis growing in a friends gardens. She did not know the name of it but it was gorgeous! Rather large blue bell shaped flowers opening up to show yellow stamens, and it bloomed abundantly from June to September. Over the years I did a lot of research trying to identify the plant. The flowers looked like a Texensis variety or it could be an Integrafolia or viticella? It looked like Clematis Durandii on steroids.
Last year I posted pictures on a forum and some guided me in the right direction. My mystery clematis turned out to be: Clematis x diversifolia 'Hendersonii' One of the oldest hybrids in cultivation - A hybrid between Clematis Integrefolia with Clematis Viticella made by J.A. Henderson in 1835.
The Clematis is herbaceous in nature but unlike Clematis Integrefolia it does seem to be able to makes the leaf stems "cling" a bit, without having true petioles like most clematis have. I prune it hard each year in late February, to about 1 feet above the ground. When the growth starts the new shoots need a little guidance, and I grow it against a fine rebar mesh against a wall and it becomes 7-8 feet tall.
All guests in my garden admire this rare clematis. It is a real show stopper! No wonder since it always have hundreds of blooms from June to September. It does not seem to be available in USA or Canada, even though I am willing to send plenty of cuttings so it can be propagated and more widely grown. Many on the other side of the Atlantic really would love to grow this rare beauty. So I hope a Canadian or American nursery specializing in clematis want it bad enough to be willing to import it - since I do not want to break any laws sending plants illegally (Not that we have many pests - but they have enough already!). It sure should be more widely grown here in Europe too - but then again - how could they, when no one seems to know about it?
Here it is seen in the bottom middle part of the picture. The other clematis in front as a companion for Rose 'Albertine' is clematis viticella 'Etoille Violette'. Albertine has really put on some growth since last when this pictures was taken!