Clematis viticella 'Hågelby White'
Clematis viticella 'Hågelby White'©Roy Nunn

Clematis of the Month for September 2006

Section Viticella.
Subsection Parentage unknown.
Distribution Found in Hågelby Byparken, near Stockholm, Sweden.
Flowering July to September in our garden (Cambridge, Great Britain).
Habitat Can be grown in most temperate situations.
First Recorded Introduced into cultivation by F. M. Westphal in 1998 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Swedish Clematis Society.

This plant was found growing amongst six other viticella cultivars, in the Hågelby Byparken, near Stockholm by Werner Stastny and Ulf Svensson. I enclose some information about C. viticella 'Hågelby White' supplied by Werner Stastny.

"The Hågelby estate was the residence of Lars Magnus Ericsson the founder of the Ericsson telephone company. The estate belongs now to the community of Botkyrka.

In 1996 Ulf Svensson and I started with the planning of the 1998 IClS conference and the 10th anniversary of the SClS. I had a project in 1996 at Hågelby and could immediately see what a perfect place this was with all the facilities there. There is also a nice park with good garden standards to show our guests and last, but not least, a lot of clematis.

Along the wall around the estate there were many clematis and clematis of a kind we had never seen before. We showed them to Magnus Johnson and he had no clue what kind of clematis we found there.

We found 6 different colours with flowers all of the same shape but different colours. They looked mainly like forms of C. campaniflora. There are two existing forms of C. campaniflora, light blue and white, but with nodding or open flowers. There is of course a relationship to C. viticella. This is what we know today. With DNA research, maybe we can find out more, but who could do it?

I, Werner, named the white form that we chose for the conference. I named it in honour of the place of our conference and of course where it was found.

In 1996 I showed this form to Manfred Westphal and I asked him to propagate the white form so we had sufficient plants for all the participants of the conference.

It is interesting that nobody knows how this plant came to Hågelby and how it created 6 different types (colours) there. They are easy to propagate by seed and you can find seedlings along the long wall all over until they are removed like weeds.
All the forms are very rich flowering. They have small leaves and the plant seems to be quite light in weight, and therefore useful to climb in or over stronger plants.

The colours that I know of are; White, Cream, Pink, Light blue, Pink with a blue bar and Blue with a white bar."

C. viticella 'Hågelby White' with C. 'Heather Herschell'In 1998 I obtained my first plant of C. viticella 'Hågelby White'. I grew it for four years in successively larger pots, until eventually planting it in the garden, to grow up a fence together with C. × diversifolia 'Heather Herschell' and Rosa var. banksias Lutea. This appears to be a good combination as C. viticella 'Hågelby White' and C. × diversifolia 'Heather Herschell' have similar growth habits and flower at the same time, in July and August when the Rose is out of flower. The flowers of C. viticella 'Hågelby White' are typically viticella in form and open creamy white, fading quickly to pure white. One advantage in my opinion of C. viticella 'Hågelby White' over C. viticella 'Alba Luxurians' is that the former has never produced the green deformed tepals that one gets on the latter.

My thoughts on the parentage of C. viticella 'Hågelby White' is that it could be from the wild form of C. viticella forma albiflora, but it will remain a mystery for many years no doubt.

Roy Nunn Roy Nunn

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