Admittedly, I heard about C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ before I beheld it, thinking, "Oh, another lavender-blue large-flowered hybrid, just what the world needs." The first time I saw it was in the front window of a florist shop in Healdsburg, California. The display was arrayed with the Evison™ introductions of that era (2006 or so), all gussied up for Mother's Day in the USA, the second Sunday in May. To say I was horrified at the prospect of selling clematis as indoor gift plants would be an understatement. And let's face it, being treated like a houseplant is often the fate of miniature roses and hydrangeas and the like when they are given to novice or non-gardeners. The plants are enjoyed indoors as they flower but then succumb to over-watering or general neglect, and finally death by spider-mites. My first experience with C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ was therefore not auspicious. Fast-forward to 2016 and a visit to Ainsworth House in Oregon City Oregon. This fascinating destination garden and event venue was the focus of an annual fund-raising event for the Rogerson Clematis Garden (RCG), and several of us were visiting the week before to work out logistics. We came around the corner of the Greek revival farmhouse and there it was — C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ for sure, but dazzling. It was on a short section of wire framed with wood fencing between a path and the house, in full flower and looking equally lush on both the north and south sides of the plant. The two sides are pictured here from that revelatory moment.
Advertised as staying less than a meter tall, these specimens (one plant on each side of the fence, as owner-partner Bud Bowen is a clematis addict and more is more) were taller than their 1.25m support, and had knitted into each other by at least 30cm. At the RCG, C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ flowers earliest on quite short growth, but sends new shoots up to 1.5m at the same time, and these give a second wave of bloom in late July or August. C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ also tries to bloom in late October, and although the color can be wan, one has to appreciate the effort. Although C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ grows taller than the label says, it is by no means lanky, and flowers well from the ground up once established. Its relative shortness makes it an ideal candidate for container cultivation. One can imagine it with any number of colorful annuals growing at the pot edge with C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ on a 1.5m structure in the middle. It is no surprise to learn that one of the parents of C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ is C. 'H.F. Young', and although some clematis cognoscenti consider it fussy, C. 'H.F. Young' can be cast-iron durable, even accepting fairly dense shade. The resemblance is marked, except for height. The blossoms of C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ range from 15-20cm in diameter, just like C. 'H.F. Young'. The other parent is C. 'Mrs George Jackman', so neither parent would indicate their progeny would remain relatively short in stature. In summation, first impressions can as wrong about clematis as they can be about people. Once seen grown to best advantage, C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ would make it onto anyone's wish list. Think of C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™ most especially for partial shade gardens, to grow in a container, or best of all, in a container placed in partial shade, playing to all of its strengths.
C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™
at Ainsworth House
Autumn flower of C. 'Evipo023' CÉZANNE™