Clematis texensis 'Wellmax'

Clematis of the Month for June 2018

described by Ton Hannink


C. texensis 'Wellmax'©Ton Hannink

C. texensis 'Wellmax'©Ton Hannink Clematis texensis 'Wellmax' was discovered by Jan van Acquoij. I asked Jan about the history.

He wrote;
"C. texensis 'Wellmax' is a sport of C. 'Princess Diana'. At the nursery, van Well, we made many thousands of cuttings each year from C. 'Princess Diana'. We were very keen to ensure that the cuttings were always true to this cultivar.

In a field of C. 'Princess Diana' I noticed some cuttings with larger leaves. I took them out and let them grow on to see which cultivar/hybrid they belonged to, because at first I thought there was pollination with an unknown cultivar/hybrid.

However, while they proved to have strong texensis properties, the flower did not resemble known flowers in any way. Also within the texensis family, no plant was known to me with such a leaf. So I came to the conclusion that it must be a sport of C. 'Princess Diana'. Of course, this was a good thing, especially given the number of cuttings that we had taken.

Perhaps C. 'Princess Diana' has a greater tendency to create sports than other cultivars.

In view of the process of growing and trading, the chance of a good quality, unique but dependable sport is very small. And the consumer will certainly not return if the flower is different than he thought he had bought."

 

When we were in Germany with the International Clematis Society in 2013, I saw in a garden a special texensis and I could not determine what it was. The owner of the garden told me that it was C. texensis 'Maxima'. [Editor's note: C. texensis 'Maxima' is a synonym of C. texensis 'Wellmax'.] I was very surprised because the plant was very rare to find in garden centres. I finally got a plant two years ago from Jan van Acquoij.
C. texensis 'Wellmax'©Ton Hannink C. texensis 'Wellmax'©Ton Hannink
C. texensis 'Wellmax'©Ton Hannink

C. texensis 'Wellmax' bud, leaves and seedhead

The plant is very different from C. 'Princess Diana' because the leaves are large, the stems very stiff and the flowers much longer.

Height of the plant is about 2½ meters.

Flowers very long and pink, a little bit paler than C. 'Princess Diana'.

Flower size is 10 cm.

Flowering time July-September.

C. texensis 'Wellmax' is also quite unusual in that the seeds are very fertile . Most texensis hybrids only produce a few seeds and, in my experience, if any germinate they are not very hardy, but the seedlings of C. texensis 'Wellmax' seem very healthy and strong. At the moment, though, I have only young seedlings and no pictures.

In the garden it is a very useful clematis because the stems are very strong. You can place the plant at a trellis, together with roses and small shrubs.

In Autumn you can prune back all the stems to 30 cm above the soil because the plant starts growing in the Spring and within a very short time has reached its full height.

C. texensis 'Wellmax' is also very hardy in the garden.

Ton Hannink Ton Hannink



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