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All About Clematis

Information About Clematis

Clematis (pronounced kleh·muh·tuhs) is a genus of about 300 species within the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. The genus name is from Ancient Greek clématis, meaning "a climbing plant". These plants are mostly known as a vine that profusely flowers all summer.


When growing these plants in the garden, there are varieties that are cold hardy in zones 3 to 9. These plants are typically known to be vines, however they can be shrubs as well. The vines can grow up to to be 30 feet tall. The most well known variety is Clematis jackmanii, which has purple flowers that bloom from July to late fall. Most people grow clematis up a trellis, a garden arch or the side of a building. The flowers are typically purple, however the blooms can also be pink and white. The flowers can also be very fragrant. 

These plants are typically native to China and Japan. However, there are some species that are native to North America. Those species were actually known to be used by Native Americans in herbal remedies to help with migraines and sore throats. In Europe during the Victorian era, the clematis flower would symbolize both mental beauty and art as well as poverty. Clematis is also sometimes called traveller's joy, old man's beard, leather flower, and vase vine.


Common Questions About Clematis

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