Clematis 'Royal Velours'

Clematis of the Month for August 2013

C. 'Royal Velours'©Ton Hannink

Clematis 'Royal Velours' was raised in Lyon in France by Francois Morel in 1914. In that year the plant was given to William Robinson of the Gravetye Manor, Sussex, England. C. 'Royal Velours' was given an Award of Merit on July 20, 1948 and in 1993 it received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM).

At the same time that C. 'Royal Velours' was raised, many other good and beautiful clematis were being bred in France. It is a pity that we do not have such good French hybridizers today.

C. 'Royal Velours'©Ton HanninkC. 'Royal Velours' has flowers with 4-(6) sepals and a slightly recurved tip. The color is velvety dark- or red-purple. The anthers are dark red-purple or grey-purple on greenish filaments. Under the right light circumstances - light shadow - the plant has 'royal' colors. There are masses of dramatic dark velvety-purple flowers from July to September. The leaves are mid-green leaves. The height is 2.5-3 meters (7-9 feet).

C. 'Royal Velours'©Ken WoolfendenThis vigorous clematis looks stunning and can be grown through plants with pale silvery-grey, light green or variegated foliage, giving under these conditions a beautiful combination. It is ideal for training through a strong tree or shrub, in full sun or partial shade, or in combination with a light colored rose. It is also very useful on a trellis. And finally it can be used as pot plant.

C. 'Royal Velours' is resistant to clematis-wilt and stands up well to wind. The plant needs a good soil and enough water and fertilizer in spring and summer. The best place for it is in half shade to shade in the garden.

The plant belongs to Group 3 and therefore stems from the previous year can be pruned back to a pair of strong buds about 15-20cm (6-8in) above ground-level in early spring. Strong pruning gives the plant a lot of stems and therefore a lot of flowers.

Ton Hannink Ton Hannink

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