This group consists of a number of species from the warmer Mediterranean climates and are not reliably hardy when temperatures are below far below freezing for any length of time, all suffer with damage from cold winter winds which do not improve the appearance of the plant, but cause little actual damage. 


AFOLIATA round green rush like stems with part time vestigial leaves small pale yellow open flowers slightly scented Needs protection of a wall here . Only prune to control size which may reach 3metres

ARMANDII a large leafed vigorous evergreen with clusters of white scented flowers in early spring. Protection from winter winds is required to protect the leaves from excessive damage. Requires a relatively warm site Height to 12m.Prune hard immediately after flowering if required to ensure flowers the following spring

ARMANDII APPLE BLOSSOM a selected form with pink flower buds opening to white when open scented. Much less vigorous than the species.

ARMANDII SNOWDRIFT a form with fullest white flowers of all and a light scent.

BRACHIATA a specie from South Africa light green evergreen leaves small yellow white scented flowers in October or later. Height 5m, no pruning required. Not reliably hardy here in the eastern counties.

CIRRHOSA BALAERICA evergreen from the Mediterranean region ferny foliage Flowers pale cream bells with crimson freckles on the inside mainly in very early spring but often during any open period in the winter. Height to 4m no pruning needed

CIRRHOSA WISLEY CREAM a selection with clear pale yellow bells and entire leaves

CIRRHOSA FRECKLES another selection this time with entire leaves and heavily freckled insides to the flowers. I find this to be the least hardy of the cultivars.

CIRRHOSA JINGLE BELLS A selection with large pale cream bells

The following are all evergreen but do not readily fit into the general pattern of other evergreen clematis. All are only marginally hardy to temperatures that fall below freezing and most hate cold winter winds. Several have a dwarf growing clematis as a parent and so are more suited to the rock garden or container than growing in the garden.

CARTMANII JOE one of the first crosses to be widely available. Reaches just over a metre with fine cut foliage similar to the majority of the crosses. Covered in white flowers with yellow stamens during late April. Flowers about 25-30mm across. Ideal for containers, stems trail down well.

EARLY SENSATION one of the larger growing crosses reaching to 2m , covered in similar flowers to the above. Foliage slightly coarser.

FOSTERII evergreen from New Zealand small marzipan coloured open flowers glossy foliage good scent Not entirely hardy but never been killed here when planted in a sheltered position. Ht.3m do not prune

LUNAR LASS a small growing hybrid with yellowish white flowers

MOONBEAM another small hybrid with pale greenish yellow flowers will give height of just over 1 metre eventually.

PANNICULATA tall growing species that is variable in leaf and flower shape and size. Flower again white, variable with form, not scented.

This article was originally published on the web at oviatt-ham.demon.co.uk (Malcolm Oviatt-Ham, Cambridge), however that website is defunct at 2014. The copyright is with Malcolm Oviatt-Ham.

UK gardening help and assistance

gardening books