Clematis 'Delightful Scent'

Clematis of the Month for April 2017

described by Ton Hannink

C. 'Delightful Scent'©Ton Hannink C. cadmia©Ton Hannink

C. 'Delightful Scent'

C. cadmia

In 2007 I got a few young plants of Clematis cadmia and I was wondering if these plants were real C. cadmia. A few times previously I received plants named C. cadmia but they were not, they were beautiful white C. montana. However this time, after a few months, the young tiny plants had leaves and they were surely not the leaves of a C. montana. The leaves were more similar to C. viticella or C. florida.

In 2008 I did not get any flowers at all but the plants had grown very well and even the leaves were beautiful. Very early in the year the plants would grow new stems. In 2009 the plants started growing just as before. They were in the greenhouse under good conditions, During the nights it was frost-free and during the day it had a very good temperature. In this greenhouse we store our subtropical plants.

On one morning I came in the greenhouse and I smelled a scent which I did not know. I searched for the source. I saw no plants with flowers other than the C. cadmia. Thus the real C. cadmia has scent. This was a real surprise because I had not found any information to suggest that this species had scented flowers. The flower was pale lilac and not very special.

I pollinated the flowers by hand and it developed fertile seeds. The seeds germinated easily and the young plants grew very well, having their first flowers in the first year. I selected two different plants and I gave one of them the name Clematis 'Delightful Scent'.

C. 'Delightful Scent', back of flower©Ton Hannink C. cadmia, back of flower©Ton Hannink

C. 'Delightful Scent', back of flower

C. cadmia, back of flower

C. 'Delightful Scent'©Ton Hannink

C. 'Delightful Scent'

C. 'Delightful Scent'©Ton Hannink C. 'Delightful Scent', back of flower©Ton Hannink

C. 'Delightful Scent'

C. 'Delightful Scent'

C. 'Delightful Scent' is not a real viticella or a real florida but, if you look to the buds, flowers, seeds, leaves and roots, something between both subsections. Also in hybridizing the plant is complete different to both viticella and florida.

Christopher Grey-Wilson includes C. cadmia in the subsection Viticella and Magnus Johnson in subsection Floridae. Both had never seen live material and must have done their analysis with herbarium materials.

Flowering: April/May.
Flower Color: Pink lilac.
Flower Size: 10-12 cm.
Scent: Moderate.
Leaves: Divided, color is mid green.
Height: 2-3 meters.

The best place in the garden for C. 'Delightful Scent' is on a warm shaded place to the south, because the plant get very early buds and if it is too cold you can lose them. Also in a warm place you get the strongest scent.

I keep some plants in a pot and during the flowering season you can have the scent of the plant on your terrace. Pruning advice: In the beginning I did the same as for the most Clematis but this was not very successful because I only got flowers once a year. This is complete different to plants in the subsection Floridae. So I keep the stems on the plants just before Winter and then I prune back to the second node. In Spring new shoots appear, even out of the old stems.

Leaves, buds and seedheads of C. 'Delightful Scent'

C. 'Delightful Scent', leaves©Ton Hannink C. 'Delightful Scent', buds©Ton Hannink
C. 'Delightful Scent', bud©Ton Hannink C. 'Delightful Scent', seedhead©Ton Hannink

Ton HanninkTon Hannink

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