Candy Autumn Clematis, Clematis terniflora – Grasp Gardener Program

Candy autumn clematis in full bloom.

Candy autumn clematis, Clematis terniflora is a vigorous woody vine within the buttercup household (Ranunculaceae) native to Japan typically offered as C. maximowicziana, C. paniculata and C. dioscoreifolia (nonetheless, C. paniculata is mostly a totally different fall-blooming species native to New Zealand). This deciduous perennial that’s hardy in zones Four-9 was launched in 1877 as seeds despatched to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston. Blooming within the fall, it typically goes unnoticed till it blooms. As a result of C. terniflora aggressively self-seeds and has escaped cultivation in lots of components of the U.S. is to invade forest edges, right-of-ways and areas alongside streams and roads, it’s typically thought of an invasive species – significantly within the East and Midwest – and is now not really helpful as a panorama plant in lots of states. In Wisconsin it’s not a regulated invasive plant on the DNR NR-40 record, however nonetheless needs to be used with warning. Earlier than planting verify to make sure that candy autumn clematis is just not invasive the place you reside.

The sides of the leaves of C. terniflora are easy (L) whereas these of the native C. virginiana are serrated (R).

The same-looking, however not very aromatic, Virgin’s-bower, C. virginiana, native to japanese North America blooms about the identical time, and could possibly be used as an alternative, however is just not as available within the horticulture commerce. It’s usually dioecious (separate female and male crops) so a single plant is not going to produce seed, but it surely, too, will produce loads of seed the place there are a number of crops and reseeds readily. Each the unique and native vines may be offered underneath the identical widespread title, candy autumn clematis, so look at the leaves to find out which plant you’re actually buying. The leaf edges of C. virginiana are serrated or toothed whereas these of C. terniflora are principally complete (easy).

Climbing hydrangea is likely to be an alternative to candy autumn clematis.

The foliage of C. virginiana tends to be lighter and its flowers are furry on the underside and bloom later, however these traits is probably not helpful when buying a plant in a container. Climbing hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris,is one other potential substitute, with faintly aromatic flowers (some recommend the scent is disagreeable) blooming earlier within the season.

Candy autumn clematis has shiny inexperienced foliage with typically three leaflets in every compound leaf.

C. terniflora can develop as much as 30 ft lengthy, overwhelming every thing in its path. The shallowly-grooved stems develop from a faucet root, beginning out inexperienced and creating mild brown, longitudinally shredded bark on mature stems. The other leaves are a shiny inexperienced, with every leathery, pinnately compound leaf having Three-5 oval to elliptic leaflets. The apically spherical and basally cordate leaflets may be toothed on younger crops however are complete when mature. The tendrilous leaf petioles on this twining vine twist round, serving to it climb on constructions or woody crops.

Because the widespread title suggests, this plant blooms in late summer time or fall. By mid-summer tiny buds start to indicate and within the higher Midwest begin to open usually in August and September. Though the person star-shaped flowers are solely about an inch throughout, the plant may be very florific, with the flowers practically utterly protecting the foliage so it is rather showy. The quite a few aromatic flowers are produced in terminal branching panicles of Three-12 flowers. Every monoecious flower has 4 pure white, slender, petal-like sepals, roughly 50 stamens, and 5-10 pistils with lengthy, plumose types. The flowers are enticing to bugs, particularly bees and flies.

Candy autumn clematis may be very florific with many flowers (L) opening abruptly (C). Every star-shaped flower has 4 white sepals and lots of stamens (R).

The flowers are adopted by plumose seed heads.
Picture by Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens.

The flowers are adopted by silvery plume-like seed heads typical of the genus (the dry fruits are a flattened achene every with a silky-plumose tail) that are dispersed by wind. The mass of fluffy seed heads may be fairly decorative. This plant can self-seed prolifically and the wind can blow the seeds nice distances to doubtlessly invade pure areas, so is taken into account invasive in lots of locations. In colder climates (zones Four and 5) it doesn’t produce as many volunteers as in hotter places. To stop any seeding, minimize your complete plant again to about three ft as quickly because the flowers fade.

Plant candy autumn clematis the place it may possibly climb a construction or cowl open floor.

Plant candy autumn clematis the place it may possibly climb up a construction – similar to a fence or pergola – or ramble over an open space as a floor cowl. It’s far too rambunctious for a traditional trellis. With its dense foliage and rampant development behavior it may possibly shortly cowl a sequence hyperlink fence, arbor, or different construction to create a seasonal display screen or cowl eyesores similar to outdated stumps or obscure an unpleasant constructing or wall. With out help it types a dense tangle of vines that can choke out different vegetation. Though it could possibly be allowed to develop by way of massive shrubs care must be taken to verify it’s plentiful development doesn’t utterly cowl the opposite plant. Due to its nice vanilla-like candy perfume, attempt to situate it the place the scented flowers may be appreciated.

Develop candy autumn clematis in full solar to half shade in well-drained soil. Though it tolerates shade, it can bloom higher in full solar. This species blooms on new development, so it may be pruned onerous in fall after flowering or in early spring to maintain its rampant development considerably in verify. Every stem may be in the reduction of to some sturdy buds a foot or two off the bottom in late winter or early spring. Like all clematis, it likes “cool ft,” so the soil at its base needs to be mulched or shaded different crops. Fertilize in spring with a low-nitrogen fertilizer and maintain evenly moist all through the rising season. This plant has few insect or illness issues and isn’t favored by deer. This vine is just not affected by juglone, so may be grown close to black walnut timber. It’s readily propagated from seed sown open air within the fall, softwood cuttings taken in spring, or semi-ripe cuttings taken in early summer time. It might-grown take as much as 5 years earlier than seed-grown crops bloom.

– Susan Mahr, College of Wisconsin – Madison

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