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Clematis cirrhosa

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
KLEM-ah-tiss ki-RO-sa
Description

Winter flowering clematis is a delicate twining evergreen or semi-evergreen vine in the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family native to the Mediterranea region.  Showy white flowers appear in December making it a bright spot of color and interest in an otherwise often barren winter landscape.  Its name derives from the Greek word klÄ“matis, meaning brushwood or broken branches, perhaps owing to the fragile stems of this genus and the species name cirrhosa means having tendrils, and though the plant does not technically have tendrils its petioles bend around to support the groiwing vine.  It can reach 4 feet to up to 20 feet tall and 1 to 4 feet wide supported otherwise it sprawls on the ground.

Plant in full sun against a south or west facing wall in moist but fertile well-drained soil.  It withstands a variety of soil and pH types.  In areas with cold winters plant in a container and move indoors.  Cut it back in early spring immediately after they finish flowering to maintain their vigor. Clematis is a heavy feeder; provide it with a low nitrogen, slow release fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks throughout the growing season.  It will take 2 to 5 years to reach its mature size.  Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer, or layering in early spring or late winter.  

Plant in a courtyard, cottage, or pollinator garden and take advantage of its winter blooms. Because the blooms hang downward, consider placing them in a location where the flowers can be enjoyed by viewing them from below such as growing them over an arbor or trellis near a patio or walkway.  Take advantage of the wide range of bloom times of other clematis vines and conceivably there could be clematis blooming in the landscape year-round.  This is not an aggressive vine and does well planted to grow over the stems of a deciduous shrub so flowers appear in the winter on bare branches. They are also suitable for containers, naturalized areas, vertical spaces, or woodlands. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Occasional slugs and snails, scale insects, whiteflies, earwigs, and aphids. Wilt, powdery mildew, rust, fungal spots, and stem cankers may occur.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Cleamatis cirrhosa var. balearica
    Fern like bronze leaves, fragrant creamy white flowers with maroon speckles
  • var. purpurascens 'Freckles'
    Purple flowers with spots
  • 'Wisley Cream'
    White bell shaped flowers bronze foliage
Cleamatis cirrhosa var. balearica, var. purpurascens 'Freckles', 'Wisley Cream'
Tags:
#winter interest#cottage garden#trellises#glossy leaves#pollinator plant#courtyard garden#naturalized area#leathery leaves#flowers early spring#vertical spaces#walkway planting#patio planting#nectar plant winter#arbor#flowers late winter#flowers mid-winter#flowers early winter#bee friendly#woodland garden#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Cleamatis cirrhosa var. balearica
    Fern like bronze leaves, fragrant creamy white flowers with maroon speckles
  • var. purpurascens 'Freckles'
    Purple flowers with spots
  • 'Wisley Cream'
    White bell shaped flowers bronze foliage
Cleamatis cirrhosa var. balearica, var. purpurascens 'Freckles', 'Wisley Cream'
Tags:
#winter interest#cottage garden#trellises#glossy leaves#pollinator plant#courtyard garden#naturalized area#leathery leaves#flowers early spring#vertical spaces#walkway planting#patio planting#nectar plant winter#arbor#flowers late winter#flowers mid-winter#flowers early winter#bee friendly#woodland garden#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Clematis
    Species:
    cirrhosa
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mediterranean
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees are attracted to the nectar and pollen in the flower and its winter timing is an attractive source when not many other plants are blooming.
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Dry small fruits with silky-plumose tail
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Showy white to cream or pale yellow bell flowers 2.5 inches across 4 petals freckled with red-brown spots appear in winter starting in December and going through early spring. They hang downward .
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green leathery simple or compound leaves with 3-6 leaflets
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Vertical Spaces
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees