Clematis otophora, Franchet ex Finet & Gagnepain

Clematis of the Month for June 2015

C. otophora©Ton Hannink

Section: Connatae

Subsection: Connatae

Distribution: China: S Gansu, W Hubei, E Sichuan

Flowering: July - September

Habitat: Forests, forest margins, scrub; 1200--2000 m.

First Recorded: Franchet ex Finet & Gagnepain, Bull. Soc. Bot. France. 50: 548. 1903

The flowers of Clematis otophora are single and campanulate. Flowers are 3 cm in diameter. Pedicel 1-4 cm, glabrous. Sepals 4, yellow color, erect. The anthers are pale yellow and a beautiful part of the flower. The flowers stand alone. The flowers arise with a pair of leaves from shoots of the the previous year. The seeds are small and germinate very well after 3-4 months.

C. otophora©Ton Hannink C. otophora©Ton Hannink
C. otophora©Ton Hannink C. otophora©Ton Hannink
C. otophora©Ton Hannink C. otophora©Ton Hannink
C. otophora©Ton Hannink

The stems grow to a maximum of 3 meters but mostly a little less. After winter the plant starts to grow and the youngest leaves are red/brown at first, changing later to blueish green. The leaves are very remarkable for color and form and even a plant without leaves is beautiful. Good pruning of this species gives, after some years, a plant with a lot of stems and therefore a lot of flowers.

Clematis otophora is a useful Clematis in the garden in counties with a winter temperature higher than -7 degrees Celsius. The best place in the garden is a sunny and not too wet place, but even better is to keep the plant in a pot so that you can see the special leaves and flowers. Store the pot during the winter in a place just above freezing point. The soil must be kept rather dry during winter, otherwise the roots will rot.

I got this species as plant and seeds from China and all the flowers were yellow on all the plants, unlike C. pogonandra which can be from yellow to black/brown.

Pruning is only needed when the plant is too tall although in the beginning, strong pruning of each stem is needed to get a lot of stems.

Ton Hannink Ton Hannink

Return to top of page

Return to Homepage

@ K.Woolfenden