Clematis 'Lavender Twirl'

Clematis of the Month for August 2022

described by Richard Hodson

C. 'Lavender Twirl'©Richard Hodson

C. 'Lavender Twirl'

The photos that I am showing of Clematis 'Lavender Twirl' are from the plant in our garden here in Lancashire, England in July 2022. This is part of the actual plant that was raised by the late Jack Gittoes from seed obtained from the British Clematis Society (BCS) in 2004. He registered it with the RHS in 2012.

I contacted Jack, who was at the time the Newsletter Editor for BCS, and asked if I could please have a cutting of his stunning new introduction, sometime in the future, for my National Collection of Clematis Viticella.

Jack responded immediately, and according to an article he wrote in the journal of the BCS, The Clematis 2020-2021 , he lifted the whole of his original plant with a garden fork, sliced it in half with a spade, and sent me one of the portions. That was in March 2012. Such generosity, I was amazed.

I am still amazed, every year when C. 'Lavender Twirl' flowers, typical viticella habit, growth 2.5 to 3 metres (8 to 10 ft.), flowers July to September, prune Group 3, hard prune, almost to the floor every February.

But this is so different, unique colouring and flower shape, not easy to capture the true colour on photos, but, for sure, it is lavender and it does twirl.

Thanks again, Jack, a wonderful plant from a true gent.
C. 'Lavender Twirl'©Richard Hodson C. 'Lavender Twirl'©Richard Hodson
C. 'Lavender Twirl'©Richard Hodson C. 'Lavender Twirl'©Richard Hodson

[Editor's note: You can read an obituary to Jack Gittoes at]

[Editor's note: The International Clematis Register and Checklist 2002 Fifth Supplement contains the entry for C. 'Lavender Twirl'. This was also published in Clematis International 2013. However, for convenience, I've reproduced this entry below.]

‘Lavender Twirl’
Viticella Group
Parentage unknown; raised from “mixed viticella” seed obtained from the British Clematis Society seed exchange
R: J. Gittoes (2004), S: J. Gittoes (2006), G: J. Gittoes (2006), N: J. Gittoes (2006), I: Roseland House Nursery (2011), REG: J. Gittoes (2012)
Fls broadly bell-shaped, 4–6cm across, nodding or drooping, not scented; pedicels suffused purple in bud, maturing to mid-green. Buds downy, dark purple before opening. Sepals 4–6; inside mainly creamy white in centre of sepal from base, feathering into lavender-blue margins and tips; outside first opening purplish blue, then swiftly becoming two-toned with lavender-blue bar (clearly bounded by midribs) and broad, white margins; 3–4 × 2.5cm, broadly elliptic to rhomboidal, slightly overlapping or touching at base, margins wavy and finely cut, tip obtuse and slightly to strongly recurved. Filaments greenish; anthers white. Deciduous climber, with stems up to 3m. Lvs ternate, with entire margins, green or reddish when young, maturing to mid-green. FL: July–Sept on current year’s growth.
Published refs: The Clematis 2006: 58
External images: The Clematis 2006: 59; The Clematis 2012: 149; Clem. Int. 2013: 15

Richard Hodson Richard Hodson

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