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C. x durandii
If there is one herbaceous clematis to grow in your garden then I suggest it is this one. This is a stunning late flowering cultivar raised in the middle of the 19th century from the crossing C. integrifolia and C. lanuginosa (although this last species has sometimes been quoted as 'Jackmanii').
The flowers are made up of 4-6 sepals measuring approximately 13 or 14 cm across (although they can be smaller). The violet-blue sepals can be a somewhat mix of shapes, somewhere between rhombic, obovate and elliptic on 6 sepalled flowers, while they can also be slightly lanceolate on 4 sepalled flowers!
They display heavy ribbing down the middle and also display a slight twist from about the midpoint onwards as the sepal matures. Some sepals can also display a small purple central bar but this is by no means the normal. The pointed tip will recurve as the flower ages and the colour will also get paler. The underside is a similar but more dusky colour compared to the topside.
The stamens are made up pale yellow slightly hairy filaments with violet-blue flushing at the base, the anthers are a creamy yellow. The slightly hairy erect bud is ovoid narrowing towards the tip where it turns silvery white as the hairs are more concentrated.
A semi vigorous plant that has sometimes been quoted as semi climbing but mine makes no attempt to hold on and I can only assume this is quoted because it can be quite erect. It produces its first flowers in June from new growth and continues on until late September or early October. It can surprisingly grow to a grand height of around 8' (240 cm) although it will need help as once it reaches about 4' it will flop over especially if it is windy.
A hardy plant (zone 4) it can get into growth early and when it comes to early March when it should be hard pruned (group 3) it can be quite a heart wrenching task to prune off the 2+ feet of growth that has already appeared (but do it you must and it will come back at you with even more shoots). A plant for any aspect although best in sun or semi shade where it can be grown up between medium sized shrubs.
Its popularity is justified and can therefore usually be found for sale at most good garden centres.

Flower Colour
Sepals of this herbaceous cultivar are an intense violet-blue dulling with age.
Pruning Group
Group 3
Zone 4
6-8' or 180-240 cm
Flowering Season
June to September
Any aspect
Other info
A hybrid of C. integrifolia and C. lanuginosa.

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