Clematis heracleifolia Wyevale
Fragrant Virgin’s Bower
Clematis heracleifolia Wyevale is a small deciduous sub-shrub with lax stems bearing broad dark green leaflets. It has pretty clusters of hyacinth-like sweetly scented flowers followed by silvery fluffy seed heads, growing to a height of 90cm and a spread of 90cm. Flowering in August to September, it loves full sun or partial shade, and is fully hardy. Prune in early spring before growth starts. Clematis are known primarily as climbing plants, but there are a handful of species that are herbaceous and shrubby in nature, and do not twine or climb. They re grow up from the ground each spring and die back in autumn, make ideal companions for other perennials and shrubs.
Clematis heracleifolia Wyevale, commonly known as the Fragrant Virgin’s Bower or Tube Clematis, is a species of flowering plant in the Ranunculaceae family. This particular cultivar, Wyevale, is known for its hardiness, disease resistance, and prolific flowering, making it a popular choice among gardeners.
The plant is native to Central and South America, where it grows in rocky, well-drained soils at high elevations. It is a deciduous perennial that typically grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet and spreads 2 to 3 feet wide. Its leaves are dark green, leathery, and deeply lobed, giving them a distinct, almost fern-like appearance.
The flowers of Clematis heracleifolia Wyevale are small, about 1 inch in diameter, and range in color from light blue to lavender. They bloom in the late summer and fall, and unlike other clematis species, they do not climb or vine. Instead, they grow in upright, bushy clumps and can be trained to grow on trellises or other supports. One of the most attractive features of this cultivar is its fragrance. The flowers emit a sweet, honey-like scent that is particularly strong in the evening and attracts a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies.
In addition to its ornamental value, the plant also has some medicinal properties. It has been used traditionally to treat digestive and respiratory ailments, and recent studies have suggested that it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Clematis heracleifolia Wyevale is relatively easy to grow and care for, making it a good choice for novice gardeners. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH. It is also tolerant of drought and can be grown in containers or in the ground. However, it does require some maintenance to keep it looking its best.
In the spring, prune the plant back to 6 inches from the ground to encourage new growth and bushiness. During the growing season, keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, and fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every few weeks. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms, and cut the plant back to the ground in the fall after the first frost.
Overall, Clematis heracleifolia Wyevale is an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance, yet beautiful and fragrant plant. Its hardiness, disease resistance, and ability to attract pollinators make it a valuable addition to any garden. Whether grown on a trellis or in a container, this cultivar is sure to add a touch of elegance and charm to any outdoor space.