Plant of the Day – Clematis (MWT09-499)

This unidentified clematis has clambered happily through an Elaeocarpus decipiens.

This unidentified clematis has clambered happily through an Elaeocarpus decipiens.

Collecting plants in the wild can sometimes be a bit of a shot in the dark.  When I collected this clematis in Taiwan in 2009 at about 5000′ all I could say for sure was that the foliage was still looking great in mid-October.  We planted it out in our Asian Valley at the JC Raulston Arboretum where it could scramble up through the low branches of a lovely Elaeocarpus.  The clematis has proven to be evergreen for us so far with a chocolatey coloration to the new growth.  It blooms in mid-summer with clusters of small white, slightly fragrant flowers.  We haven’t nailed down the identification for sure yet, but I’ve certainly been charmed with it so far.  It prefers a cool root zone but the top loves the sun.  We can’t say for sure what the hardiness is, but based on where it was growing in the wild, zone 7b at least.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

Charming star-shaped flowers appear in clusters in mid-summer.

Charming star-shaped flowers appear in clusters in mid-summer.

Check out all the happenings at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum

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