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Clematis, a plant with splendid flowers and which offers us a wide choice among its many varieties, all easy to grow with some tricks but great satisfaction. It is enough to see the photo of its blooms to understand that it is worth it.
Clematis: the plant
There Clematis it embraces about 250 species of plants and there are both herbaceous or woody ones, and other deciduous or evergreen climbers. They all belong to the family of Ranunculaceae and they come from different areas of the northern hemisphere. This is why they do well with temperate climates and in Europe as well as in Asia and North America, they grow spontaneously, very often in a climbing version but also creeping.
There Clematis it has very thin stems from which the leaves sprout, there are also thinner and fluttering stems that are used to cling to walls, supports or stakes to rise and take fresh air.
The leaves are heart-shaped, or oval, while i flowers are more imaginative and come up with the most surprising ones: difficult to stay here to describe them all. It is also advisable to admire them in all their beauty, from life, by cultivating Clematis.
Among the species of Clematis there is this one, originally from China but already in the West since the early twentieth century, and above all it is one of the few that is fragrant and evergreen. It is not particularly delicate, it also grows in Northern Italy if you cover it in the winter and keep it in a warm position in the summer. Usually at the base it creates a very woody and large trunk and produces flowers with a diameter of 5 cm, in bunches.
Other interesting species are the Clematis viticella, very widespread in Italy and reaching 4 meters in height, with large blue to red petals, or the Clematis x Jackmanii, hybrid with abundant purple or purple flowering. There is also the Texensis, from Texas: it reaches 4 meters, with solitary and pendulous flowers, red or pink - white.
This species is almost considered a pest and annoying because of how and how much it grows spontaneously in Italy. It is widespread in our parts and even reaches 12 meters in height, but not without giving us glorious, fragrant panicle blooms, with a shower of tiny cream colored flowers. They have a maximum diameter of 2 cm each.
A Montana species could only arrive from the Himalayas, in Europe, however, it has been known since 1800: it is a large plant and climbs up to 10 meters in height, producing 5-6 cm white or pink flowers, enriched by very showy yellow stamens. In general this Clematis it is healthy and prolific, it does not need to be pruned.
Its variety called Rubens takes its name from the red shades which take the leaves as the seasons progress, until they appear purple bronze. From Montana, let's move on to C. Alpina, widespread and native to Europe and northern Asia, to be found in high-altitude forests in Italy. The flowers this time are pendulous and single, blue or pink color.
Clematis: evergreen climber
As an evergreen climber with flowers the Clematis it requires very sunny positions so that it can be sure of being able to enjoy direct sun at least a few hours every day. Not because it fears the cold, just because it loves the sun. In spring until autumn, it should be watered regularly and every 10 days even with fertilizer mixed with water.
The best ground is that soft and fresh, possibly without excess clay or peat. It can also be grown in pots but must be repotted every two years. Among the parasites from which to defend our plant there are some more aggressive: snails, aphids, especially dangerous for the buds, and the earwigs, which damage the tepals and leaves. Both the dryness and the bad white, which creates the whitish mold on the flowers and leaves, are diseases to which the Clematis can be subject.
As for pruning, it depends on the flowering period: if it is early, it is necessary to intervene later by eliminating the stems and dry branches. If instead the flowers appear calmly a late spring, pruning should be done in spring, before the flowers appear.
Clematis: the flower
As mentioned the species of Clematis they can be divided into flowering periods: some foresee it in early spring, with large pink and white flowers, others late in the season but remain all autumn and always show large, simple or double flowers, pink, blue and even purple. More rare but they also exist in yellow and white.
The shape of the flower it is usually the result of a composition of very evident stamens in the center surrounded by 6-8 petals. There are some species with pendulous flowers such as the ones already mentioned Alpina and Texensis, together with Patens.
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