the sunny disposition of clematis tangutica

MAYBE IT’S THE EXTRA-DRY YEAR that postponed its bloom cycle, but suddenly my Clematis tangutica cultivar–looking like not much but a tangle of vines and leaves for months—has gone mad with flowers. The bumblebees and I had grown impatient, but now all is forgiven.

I cannot tell the various good tangutica cultivars apart, though I think mine’s ‘Gravetye Variety,’ but it could be ‘Bill MacKenzie’ or ‘Golden Harvest.’ So much for my plant-labeling program. Want to read a profile of this lesser-grown, later-blooming clematis, whichever one it turns out to be? Certainly it’s a plant that proves the “better late than never” saying to be true.

  1. Jayne says:

    Ah tangutica..it rolls off the tongue. My Mother has one and she LOVES to say the name! I failed miserably with clematis for so many years, but at her urging kept trying, and now I am quite happy in her debt. Can you have enough? ANd none so beautifully photographed as yours!!! Charming charming charming!!

  2. . I grow c.tanguitica ‘Bill Mackenzie’, it is difficult (for me anyway) to tell the difference between the orientalis (tangutica) cultivars, reddish brown,dark purple brown , maroonish, all look and sound the same to me! .

    . Another that blooms now is c. x jouinina ‘Mrs. Robert Brydon’ although it does not twine and must be tied or grown as a ground cover.

  3. Lisa says:

    Ooh, I like this, I’ve babied the same clematis for 4 years with no blooms, so dissapointing, I can make anything else grow but not this. I love the color, looks happy.

  4. Teresa says:

    Wow! You reminded me I lost my tangutica several winters ago :-(

    Do you water yours once they are mature/established?

    I was very naughty about that this year and they have produced a fair amount of flowers and for extended periods BUT the wilt has hit them all. Wonder if the dry weather stressed them out contributing to the wilt?

  5. Margaret says:

    @Teresa: I do on occasion, but mines is pretty old and is mostly on its own these days. I do cut it back near the ground each early spring.

    Hi to Lisa. Some are less finicky than others to get started, but also gettigna really strongly rooted young plant is key to success. I have had really good ones recently from Garden Vines [dot] com.

  6. Terryk says:

    Margaret, can you clarify the color on the anthers(?-middle of the flower)? It looks more blue this year but your 2008 looks maroon.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Skye. It is a deep purple to maroon — not sure which way it fades (from purple to wine or wine to purple — cannot recall) but not blue as much as purply-wine color.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, S. Robison. I confess that I cut all of mine down to about 18 inches in late winter or early spring, just for my own ease. But the detailed “right” way for each of the three groups (based on flowering time) is here on the Brushwood Nurseries site, fyi. That will be a good start. See you again, I hope.

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