November 24, 2017

Show Stopper

Clematis lanuginosa 'Nelly Moser'

Janine Pineo Photo | Clematis lanuginosa ‘Nelly Moser’

Clematis lanuginosa 'Nelly Moser'

Janine Pineo Photo | Clematis lanuginosa ‘Nelly Moser’

THE WEEKEND EDITION (So big it covers two days)

If you’re looking for a diva, look no farther than clematis, a genus with about 300 species. Part of the buttercup family, clematis is best known for its climbing vines, which produce showy flowers in a range of colors. Pictured is Clematis lanuginosa ‘Nelly Moser,’ a Chinese variety that is a pale mauve pink with a carmine stripe right down the middle of each petal. The flowers are quite large, anywhere from 6 to 8 inches wide. In general, clematis prefer full sun, and while many recommend shading the roots, it is more likely the shade just helps conserve water, which clematis really like. So shade won’t hurt, but lack of water will.  ‘Nelly Moser’ is hardy to Zone 4, which means it should be hardy in most of Maine. As for its vine length, it can reach 6 to 10 feet in height. And the encore for this diva? Not only do you get the first blooms in late spring on last year’s vines and a smaller second bloom on new vines later in summer, you get one more performance: Very attractive seed heads form after the flowers die back.

Clematis seed heads forming

Janine Pineo Photo | Clematis seed heads forming