Clearly Clever Clematis
Not flamboyant like poppies or peonies, but for us devotees, nothing beats an herbaceous 'Viorna' clematis (Viorna is the name of a prominent semi-vining species in the Eastern woodlands that is the type of the sub-genus that includes the American clumping clematis: it has even been used as a Generic name for the section--not something I advocate). Superficially reminiscent of the Eurasian Clematis integrifolia--which I suspect they will prove to be related to as well one day--there is a great variation among and within the American clumpers: these pictures have been taken this past week at Denver Botanic Gardens and at my home. I begin with the rare Clematis albicoma, known from eight counties in Virginia and three in West Virginia) here blooming at Denver Botanic Gardens. The chartreuse flowers with a wonderfully hairy (albi=white; coma=hairdo) glow. How cool is that?
I was privileged to see this in the wild north of Wichita on a wonderful fieldtrip four years ago led by Larry Vickerman, who directs Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield. I was struck the by the variability of flower color in the wild--and equally so with the colony I myself once planted at the entrance of the Rock Alpine Garden (I put in the personal note: quite a few artifacts of my tenure remain in that garden, but it has been so utterly transformed by my successors--especially Mike Kintgen--that these remnants are increasingly rare). You can't blame me for being proud of this one!
Doesn't it look as though it's dancing?
|Clematis fremontii x hirsutissima|
|Clematis pitcheri (? x fremontii)|
|Clematis integrifolia 'Mongolian Bells'|
If you haven't had enough of these, I've referenced these again and again in past blogs....and more than that too: I'm clearly smitten!