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White Clematis


Interesting Facts & Tidbits of the White Clematis

The White Clematis has lovely flowers with brown anthers that begin blooming mid-summer continuing through to September. They range in height of 10-12 feet with a spread of up to three feet wide. The bright white flower spanning up to eight inches appear to shine against the background of leathery looking deep green foliage. They are one of the oldest varieties of large-flowered vines available today.

Most clematis’ prefers full sun but do well in morning shade-particularly in a moist well-drained area. Ideally, it is the tops of the White Clematis that prefers the full sun while the root area prefers it cool and shaded. Mulching the root area in warmer zones helps to provide this ideal condition. They will grow in about any type of soil but because they are heavy feeders, for a more robust growth provide a rich, even an organic soil. Although slow to start, once established the plant will provide years of beauty.

Put into cultivation in 1858 the clematis is hardy to zone 5 (4-8) where the seeds ripen from September/October though starting these plants from seed takes much patience and care. They are more easily propagated by way of softwood cuttings coupled with a leaf bud that will root in about 20 days. The propagated cuttings or small plants can be put outdoors when frost threats have passed-late spring or early summer. As the flowers have, male and female parts (hermaphrodite) they are pollinated by bees, flies, etc.

The White Clematis is relatively low maintenance once it is established. Vines can be pruned each year or allowed to continue growing as old wood will set new buds. Moving plants is not recommended as it is difficult to dig up enough of the roots to support the plant once transplanted. Any unwanted plants can be controlled by weeding or thinning.

Clematis needs a supporting structure to grow and be able to display their beauty properly.  They remain green late in the season with leaves dropping off in late fall. The leaf canopy can become quite dense where small birds and/or rodents will use it as a retreat.

A twining plant, the leafstalks of the White Clematis wrap themselves around what they come in contact with for support. This happens because when a side of the stalk touches something the growth on that side slows but the other side continues growing normally. This actually causes the leaf stalk to reach out and entwine whatever it has touched.

Flower/plant essences have been developed from the clematis’ to help individuals deal with stress and mild emotional imbalances due to its positive qualities as a general tonic.
Native Americans chewed the plant as a remedy for the common colds and/or sore throats as well as a variety of other complaints-particularly as a wash for external application on sores, skin eruptions, eczema and wounds.

Rarely used today, even by modern herbalists its roots were once used as an infusion to treat headaches, stomach or backaches, swollen limbs and tired feet.


 

 


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