Clematis trichotoma
Clematis trichotoma©Ton Hannink

Clematis of the Month for March 2008

Several years ago, as I entered the part of the greenhouse where I stored a lot of plants including several clematis species, cultivars and hybrids, I noticed a very pleasant scent in this part of the greenhouse. I searched for the flower and found Clematis trichotoma. This clematis has one of the most pleasant and strong scents of all the clematis.

Clematis trichotoma is found in South Korea until a height of ca. 850 m. in open woodland and shrubberies.

Clematis trichotoma©Ton HanninkIt is a deciduous climber growing to 5m. The leaves are bright green.

The flowers are white, between 25-40 mm in diameter, upright and hermaphrodite. The flower has 4-6 tepals. There is always a cluster of at least 5 flowers together. The scent is very strong and similar to that of Philadelphus magdalenae (Magnus Johnson).

In my greenhouse in Holland the flowering time is April/May. I have no results of flowering time in the garden.

The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can be easily grown in a pot. During winter the plant prefers a rather dry soil - this way you will be sure to keep the plant alive through winter.

C. trichotoma buds©Ton HanninkThere is very little information on this species and I do not know if it would be hardy in other countries, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the Netherlands.

This winter, 2007/2008, I forgot to store the plant in the greenhouse, but we have not had a severe winter, the lowest temperature has been -8 degrees Celsius and only for one night.

I checked my Clematis plants which I keep outside and among these plants was also Clematis trichotoma. The plant was alive and the first young green leaves were already showing on the plant.

Propagation from seeds is very easy, the seeds germinate within 6 months at 20 degrees Celsius. Young plants grown from seeds do not seem sensitive to diseases.

Cuttings can be taken of young wood and will be rooted in 2 months.

Clematis trichotoma is worth growing for the strong scent, beautiful leaves and rich flowering.

Ton Hannink Ton Hannink

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