I.Cl.S. - About the Society

Mission and Goals

The Society was formed in 1984 by Raymond Evison. The membership now covers 27 countries, providing the world-wide interest and appeal for this fascinating genus. Members come from many different cultures - from China and Japan, from Poland, Latvia and Estonia, from Germany, Great Britain and Sweden, from Australia, USA and Canada, making the Society truly international.



The Society shares knowledge by:

The language of the Society is English.

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Benefits of Membership

Members of the Society receive a copy of the Society's publication, 'Clematis International', as well as a minimum of two newsletters a year containing details of the Society's activities and offering participation in the Seed Exchange, a means by which members are provided with the opportunity to grow varieties of Clematis often unobtainable in their own country.

A Membership List is normally issued annually, enabling Members to contact one another.

The International Clematis Society is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society of the United Kingdom. I would like to draw the attention of members to an offer available to them. The RHS publication, "The Plantsman", was relaunched in March 2002 under its new editor, Dr Christopher Grey-Wilson. Members of any RHS affiliated societies are eligible to a 20% discount on the standard subscription rate. For further details, please visit RHS - New Look Plantsman

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Conferences and Meetings

Since the Society started it has held a number of successful conferences in various countries; 1985 in London; 1989 in Sweden; 1992 in Latvia and Estonia; 1994 in Germany; 1995 in Stuttgart, Southern Germany, and Switzerland; 1996 in Cambridge, Great Britain and May 1997 in Sagamihara City, Japan.

In August 1998 we joined the Swedish Clematis Society to celebrate their 10th anniversary in and around Stockholm with an optional extension to Estonia.

In 1999 there was no International Conference but there were two Members Meetings, one in Guernsey, GB and the other in Dortmund, Germany.

The millenium saw 'Clematis 2000' held in Dresden, former East Germany with an optional tour to Hof and Würtzburg to the west. This Conference was preceded by a pre-conference meeting in Warsaw, Poland.

We celebrated the start of the new Century with our first ever meeting in the USA. The 2001 meeting was held in Oregon.

2002 was held in Poland with an excursion to see Clematis alpina growing in the wild in the Tatra mountains prior to the main meeting.

In 2003 the Society made our first visit to the Netherlands, based in the horticultural centre of the country, Boskoop. There were visits to a number of clematis growers and nurseries as well as the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, the private gardens of a number of members. And of course, we saw windmills!

2004 was the 20th anniversary of the founding of this Society and it seemed fitting to hold our Meeting and Conference in Cambridge, Great Britain. With record attendance, we visited clematis nurseries, English stately homes and their gardens, Cambridge Botanic Gardens and many more places. There were a series of lectures and presentations, a conference dinner and a farewell barbecue. And some people even found time to go punting on the river Cam - and somehow managed not to fall in.

The Society made its first visit to Finland in 2005 with a split meeting that saw us take the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia for the second part. Amongst the various and varied events on the programme there were plenty of visit to very impressive member gardens in both countries, all with lots of clematis, plus a day spent at the nursery of the Kivistiks.

2006 was another first for the Society when we were invited to Dublin for our conference, hosted by the Ranunculaceae Society, founded by Dr. Mary Toomey. The Irish have a reputation for giving visitors a warm welcome and we can certainly vouch for that. The facilities and accommodation at Dublin City University was first class, as were the speakers for the conference. There were many excursions to gardens big and small, each with many special and often unusual plants and features waiting to be found by our eager visitors.

2007 celebrated 300 years of Carl von Linné, famous for his botanic classification, and 100 years of Magnus Johnson, world renown clematis expert, and the programme for our visit contained tributes to both, taking us all the way across Sweden from our start in Malmö in the west, all the way across to Stockholm on the eastern side. We had days devoted to both these illustrious celebrities, to Swedish culture, and we got a ride on a steam train.

The Society first visited Japan in 1997, so our visit this year, 2008, celebrated a 10 year anniversary. We were based in and around the Nagoya area, west of Tokyo. A programme full of surprises included the clematis nurseries, rare plant nurseries, walks in the Japanese flora and fauna, temples, an art galley / sculpture museum / clematis display garden, and some of the most wonderful banquets imaginable.

More information is now available under Past I.Cl.S. Events.

A number of Future meetings are planned, including Cambridge, UK in 2004.

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'Clematis International'

This is the Society's journal, normally produced annually and generally despatched in the first half of the year. It contains news and updates on Clematis issues, articles from members from around the world, both academic and practical, book reviews and much more.

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The Seed Exchange

Members can take advantage of seeds being offered by the Society and, of course, contribute seed to the Seed Exchange, giving the opportunity and fun of trying something new and exciting from other countries.

Requests for donations of seeds are sent out in September/October, with the Seed Exchange List itself available from February/March the following year.

More information on the Seed Exchange is given on the Web page Collecting and Growing Seeds.

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International Clematis Registrar

The Society works closely with the International Clematis Registrar for Clematis. It encourages members to assist personally by providing details of old and new cultivars so that the register of names can be as complete as possible.

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@ K.Woolfenden

All information contained at this site is personal to Ken Woolfenden and
does not represent the official view of the International Clematis Society.