Clematis 'Kryspina'

Clematis of the Month for September 2019

described by Linda Beutler

C. 'Kryspina'©Linda Beutler

Brother Stefan Franczak described the color of this hybrid of his as "like 'Jackmanii Rubra'", and one hates to disagree with genius, but sometimes needs must. The color of C. 'Kryspina' brightens quickly after opening to a rich, bright cerise-red and holds the color brilliantly even in full sun, without the unfortunate fading seen in C. 'Jackmanii Rubra'. The exact cross that created C. 'Kryspina' is not known, but his comment may be a clue to one parent. Given the insouciant twist of some of the sepals in most flowers, the general openness of the sepals from one to another (one hesitates to say gappy in case of a pejorative connotation), and the denim-like texture of the sepal surface, it wouldn't be beyond the pale to guess the other parent was C. 'Madame Julia Correvon', although C. 'Kryspina' has larger flowers.

C. 'Kryspina'©Linda Beutler C. 'Kryspina' and Rozanne©Linda Beutler

C. 'Kryspina' and Geranium Rozanne™ 'Gerwat'

This Franczak hybrid ranks right up there with C. 'Polish Spirit' for long season flower-power. It is not unusual to have it bloom right through the summer starting in June and continuing to early September. We have a trio of them originally planted around a massive Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' at the Rogerson Clematis Garden. They completely covered the shrub in the summer and are hard pruned in dormancy in December, so as not to detract from the daphne's flowering in February and March. In July they wander further afield into an Acer palmatum 'Tsuma-gaki', as well as combining with the herbaceous perennials at their feet, including Geranium Rozanne™ 'Gerwat' and Scabiosa caucasica 'Fama Blue'. The three specimens of C. 'Kryspina' are grown without a built structure, and are allowed to make their way as a romping, ambitious groundcover that does climb when the opportunity arises.

This spring saw the demise of several of the garden's many large sweet daphne, due — we suppose — to their age and the late arrival of winter (in March!), setting back the active growth begun in a deceptively mild January. C. 'Kryspina' is now partnered by the sun-tolerant Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'. Thusly, the trio will flower with their companion shrub rather than in the opposite season. We shall miss the evergreen anchor to that end of Bed 20, but now we'll have even more flowers, and a third color (pistachio green) to compliment the periwinkle blue of the hardy geranium and sweet scabious, and the glowing cerise of C. 'Kryspina'.

C. 'Kryspina' and lilies©Linda Beutler

C. 'Kryspina' and lilies

If a trellis were wanted, it would need to accommodate 4 meters of growth annually, pruned in the winter to less than 0.6 meters tall. The flowers have six sepals, generally, and are 12-15 cm wide, making an abundant long-lasting display. The color is fairly uniform throughout the sepal surface, but it can produce a slightly deeper midrib as the flowers fade early or late in the season.

As to the name, Kryspina is a common female name in Polish, but as with so many of the Franczak hybrids, we can assume he had a particular lady in mind, either friend or relative or historic figure. We just don't know to whom, precisely, his C. 'Kryspina' refers.

Linda Beutler Linda Beutler

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