This is a shrubby clematis, not a vine. Its tubular light-blue blooms make good cutflowers, and the seedheads are interesting too. Our original plants were grown from seed purchased from JL Hudson in the late 1990s. One of their offspring is still alive among a jumble of rather unruly plants on the back side of our waterfall hill. More recently, I've started seeds from the 'China Purple' cultivar - have yet to see how it differs from the straight species.
||blue (late summer)
||3-4' tall, 2' wide
||sun-part shade (see guest comment below)
||ordinary garden soil
||self-seeds occasionally in our garden
detailed seed-starting info below
This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...
One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog
About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Clematis heracleifolia
Some particularly helpful links to other websites
Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|G.H. Slotnick||Sep 18, 2005||There are beautiful specimens of Clematis Hercleifolia growing in shade at Cornel Plantations in Ithaca, NY. Your statement regarding "light" of "full sun" needs to be, at least, qualified.|
Thanks for the information. Real-life experience always trumps information from written sources :-)
|Yuan tao||Dec 26, 2005||Clematis heracleifolia varies very much in the wild in China,your picture is not very clear.it is hardy,and can be planted as ground cover plant, in china, it grows strong in shade.|
|Robert Zoller||Jul 08, 2008||Clematis heracleifolia has been grown successfully in our garden (Zone 4) for some twenty years. It reliably reappears each spring. The original clump, a gift from a late friend who grew it successfully in her garden for many years, has been divided so many times, we have lost count as to how many ground clematis are now out there in metro Minneapolis. Almost every year, along about July, we cut it back to encourage bushier growth with more flowers. It works! Favorite gardeners who have rec'd a piece or clump of this specimen are pleased with this bountiful, sweet smelling clematis heracleifolia shrub. It remans a fabulous landscape plant, relatively unknown amongst our circle of dedicated gardeners. We think it an ideal plant for the once-a-month gardener who usually demands maintenance-free perennials. Each September brings a bounty of sweet smelling small, tubular blue flowers. It scents the whole acre of garden right here in west metro Minneapolis. Everyone should have at least one of these clematis in their garden border or landscape.|
Thanks for sharing your experience and impressions. I wasn't aware this plant could be divided - ours doesn't appear to increase the size of its clump at all, growing from a single "trunk". Maybe the cutting back you describe will also promote more growth at the base.
|Carol M.||Dec 27, 2009||Very thourough description. Easy to understand. Excellent!|
|Sandra Bowden||May 23, 2011||Very helpfull! Have come across this plant in a mail order catalogue here in Melbourne, Australia that did not give a photo or much growing information. Wonder how it will grow in the southern hemisphere. Will buy it and see how it goes.|
|B. Richards McIntyre||Jun 13, 2015||This Clematis grows very well here in Helena, Montana too. I often get knocks at the door with people asking me what this plant is. They have a hard time believing it's a Clematis for some reason. I suspect that they think all Clematis are vines. Amusingly enough, I brought this plant back from my great grandparents home in ... Minneapolis! They haven't lived there since my great grandmother passed in 1965 at age 101 but many of the original plants she planted are still there and going strong. Some plants in that garden came from seed she brought back from Norway on her visit back there in 1922! This is great plant and should be more widely grown and known! It is quite hardy. Thanks for a great site Rob! I love going through all the plants! - BRMc|
|Nick Mendes||Jul 27, 2016||I see on your web page that you grew "China Blue Clematis" from seed in your garden. I was wondering which method I should use as I was given a few seeds. I live in zone 5-6 and can sow them directly in the ground or in potting soil under grow lights. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much
In my experience (see seed-starting detail results on this page), this is one of the few clematis species that is relatively easy to start from seed, germinating at room temperature in about three weeks.
- Seed for 'China Purple' from '08 trade. Baggy 65F (81%G, 11-21d)
- Same seed as above. Baggy 70F (80%G, 10-25d)
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February 10, 2010