The belted kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon, is a large, confidant, very blue bird found all over North America, perching conspicuously over any water, waiting for its next meal to swim by. Given how many other clematis have birds or wings or similar in their names, perhaps Raymond Evison chose the belted kingfisher of the Americas because so many others were already used. Whatever the reason, the name suits the blue of this large-flowered hybrid admirably. For those of us who are birdwatchers, the reference is spot on.
C. 'Evipo037' KINGFISHER was clearly destined for use as a container cultivar, and either in the ground or in a large pot will rarely exceed
2 meters/6½ ft (I've yet to see it top 1.5 meters/5 ft). Simple deadheading without drastic pruning will keep it in active flower production through most of the growing season, and it gives the impression of being a stout, robust plant, well furnished with leaves from the ground up. It will drape over a pot edge in a graceful manner as well as climbing a support structure in a pot.
C. 'Evipo037' KINGFISHER has been widely grown in eastern Washington and northern Idaho, becoming a perennial best seller at the Friends of Manito plant sale in Spokane, Washington year after year since its 2007 introduction. In that climate, USDA zone 5-6 (winters averaging -20 to -23C), it has been perfectly hardy in the ground.
The color is a good blue, slightly more violet than C. 'Fujimusume', which it resembles both in flower, sepal substance and texture, and growth habit. In certain lights the violet overcomes the blue, but generally one does get the impression that C. 'Fujimusume' might be a parent. If grown in partial shade, the blue shades in Kingfisher remain prominent, just like a belted kingfisher sitting on a mossy branch over a rainforest pond.
On a personal note, due to failing eyesight, this was the last of the Evison introductions Brewster Rogerson got to know. He thought the color so lovely he included it in the Founder's Garden at the Rogerson Clematis Garden, where all of his 40+ favorites are planted.