With the plethora of new cultivars which flood the market every year, it is wise to consider some of the tried and true consistent jewels. One clematis that never ceases to brighten the garden is C. 'Myōjō'. I have had it planted on a leatherleaf Viburnum in the same location for seventeen years and it continues to produce an abundance of blooms with very little care.
The single large flowers which are 12 - 16 cm wide, have 6 - 8 broadly, overlapping tepals with pointed tips. The rich violet purple flowers have a darker red bar that presents with a velvety texture. The outstanding feature is its large central boss with golden anthers like a bright star in a bowl of purple velvet. It was named after the bright planet Venus.
C. 'Myōjō' is perfect for small gardens and containers, growing 2 - 2.5 meters (6 - 8 feet) tall. It is considered to be an early large flowered clematis in the pruning group 2. Blooming is in early summer and it only needs to be pruned for aesthetics but can rebloom later in the season if pruned harder after first blooming. It is a very flexible clematis and can be planted in sun or light shade.
This Japanese clematis was raised by Seijuro Arai and introduced in 1986. The parentage is listed as C. 'Star of India' and unknown. The breeder, Arai, is also the breeder of C. 'Edomurasaki'. C. 'Myōjō' is sometimes sold under the trade designation BRIGHT STAR or VELOURS BLEU.
C. 'Myōjō' is even included in the esteemed book 'Clematis' by Christopher Lloyd. His praise is "not bad". Can you ask for more?