Clematis 'Yukikomachi'

Clematis of the Month for May 2013

C. 'Yukikomachi'©Tom Hammimk

C. 'Yukikomachi'taken in Japan in 2008©Fiona WoolfendenWhen we were in Japan in 2008 with the International Clematis Society I saw for the first time the beautiful Japanese clematis, C. 'Yukikomachi' in a garden during our visit. The plant was in full flower and had a lot of attention from our members.

C. 'Yukikomachi' is a Japanese hybrid of unknown parents. This clematis was raised by Chieko Kurasawa but the year is unknown. This hybrid was first published in 1984 and belongs to the early large-flowered group. C. 'Yukikomachi' is now available in Europe. It has a good combination of colours in the flower, notably very soft colours.

This compact plant is usually no more than 2.5 metres tall. The special coloured flowers are 8-12 cm across. The flower has 6-8 broad yet pointed sepals, slightly cupped and overlapping near the base. The sepals are pale lavender with a central white bar. The tips of the sepals are tinged yellowish brown. The stamens are deep greenish yellow.

The flowers appear in early spring on the previous year's growth. The plant grows well in a shaded position and under these conditions has the best colours. Avoid a place in full sun, otherwise the pale lavender colour becomes paler.

The pruning group is 2 and if you hard prune in the beginning of spring you eliminate most or possibly all of the early blooms. Instead, prune after flowering by cutting back the top one-third to one-half of some stems. Pruning keeps the plant in a good condition and form.

C. 'Yukikomachi'©Tom HammimkThe special colour of the plant can be used very well with garden plants. You can create beautiful combinations with garden plants, shrubs and C. 'Yukikomachi'. You can use the colour of the leaves or flowers of garden plants in combination with the pale colour of C. 'Yukikomachi'. If you use shrubs which have flowers late in the year with C. 'Yukikomachi', you will get two flushes of flowers in the shrubs.

You can place the plant against a wall, trellis or fence or in combination with climbing roses. There are many possible combinations with roses because the colour is quite soft.

C. 'Yukikomachi' is also very useful in a container because the plant is not very large. Use a large container, fill with good soil and place the plant in the container. Give the plant enough water, special during sunny days, and every week use a fertilizer f.e. 10:30:20 (N:P:K).

This hybrid is hardy in zone 5, 6, 7 and 8.

The plant needs good soil and during spring and summer enough water and nutrition. Humus during the year keeps the soil in better condition for clematis.

Ton Hannink Ton Hannink

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