Clematis florida Viennetta

Clematis florida Viennetta

This clematis was a head-turner of a plant. I felt like one of the paparazzi as I lined up with jostling amateur and professional photographers at a recent flower show for my chance to take its picture.

The attraction? Masses of white flowers with showy, fully double centres in shades of purple and green hanging gracefully from a compact vine. I captured these blooms open, in their best finery, but if you search online, you’ll discover a rather strange assortment of pictures. They’re testimony to the way the flower changes as it opens from a gawky youngster to something much more regal. 

At first the greenish white petals are scrolled into a pointed star shape. In some shots of young blooms, the centre looks positively spiderish; in others the outer petals have a green streak and the centre looks messy. Despite these growing pains, the breeder Raymond Evison’s website claims that this cultivar is always one of the most admired at shows. I can understand why.

Clematis ViennettaI’ve often seen him patrolling his award-winning flower displays at UK flower shows – and once in Philadelphia – and we’ve exchanged a few pleasantries. His standards are high and his collection broad and varied.

If you’ve fallen for this flower, you can buy it from his website – a great resource for any clematis lover – but just a word of warning. It is slightly tender so should survive an averagely cold English winter in a sheltered spot, but may be better in a conservatory. Pruning is reported to be easy – it only flowers on new growth so should be cut back to 6″ (15 cm) in late winter/early spring.

25 thoughts on “Clematis florida Viennetta

  1. Lisa says:

    I’ve had mine living potted in southern New England for years..Outside in summer,inside under T5 lights in winter..It’s sending out new growth right now in preparation for blooming in mid winter..Well worth dragging inside every year..The blooms just make me smile..

    Liked by 1 person

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