Clematis buchaniana
Clematis buchaniana©Wim Snoeijer

Clematis of the Month for October 2008

Editor's note: the original pictures on this page have (in November 2011) been reviewed and identified as not being of the true C. buchaniana. They have been replaced by photos by Wim Snoeijer which are the true C. buchaniana.

My thanks to Ton Hannink and Wim Snoeijer for spotting this mistake and correcting it.

Section: Connatae
Subsection: Connatae
Distribution: Throughout the Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim, Southern Tibet; China: Yunnan-Sichuan; Vietnam, Tonkin; Bhutan
Flowering: (July to October in the wild) but in my garden from September to November
Habitat: In forests and mountain slopes from 760 to 4000 meters
First Recorded: A. P. de Candolle in Systema Naturale Regni Vegetabilis 1:140, 1818.

Clematis buchaniana©Wim SnoeijerThe flowers of Clematis buchaniana are green white to cream white, between 20-30 mm long and campanulate. The flower has 4 tepals. The flowers are in clusters of 3-5 together. Some clones are slightly fragrant.

In the first years there are only a few flowers but when the plant becomes older, then you will have a lot of flowers. If you have a hot summer then the quantity of flowers will be higher than after a rainy dark summer.

Clematis buchaniana©Wim Snoeijer
The leaves are rather big and coarsely toothed like a saw. The amount of leaves compared to flowers is very high but the flowers are always outside the leaves.

The stems grow to 4-5 meters so you must reserve enough room for this species.

The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil during the summer but in winter the soil must be rather dry otherwise you will loose the plant. In Holland the plant is hardy and I have had my plant in my garden for many years.

The plant can be used for a large pergola, obelisk or trellis. If you use the plant in a tree then the tree must be large enough otherwise Clematis buchaniana will overgrow the tree.

Clematis buchaniana©Wim SnoeijerPruning can done if the plant gets too large. I need to prune mine every year and very radically, otherwise my Clematis buchaniana will overgrow a lot of my shrubs.

Propagation from seeds is easy, the seeds germinate within 6 months at 20 degrees Celsius. Young plants grown from seeds are initially quite sensitive to moisture.

Cuttings can be taken of young wood and will root within 3 months but under drier conditions than normal.

Ton Hannink Ton Hannink

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