Plant of the Month for September, 2015

Clematis mandshurica header
Clematis mandshurica

(KLEM-uh-tiss  man-SHEU-ree-ka)

General Information:

An unusual clematis that forms a low bush of very fragrant flowers. Clematis mandshurica makes a great addition to your garden.

Clematis mandshurica; photo by Robert Pavlis

Clematis mandshurica; photo by Robert Pavlis

It is similar to C. recta, but flowers about 2 weeks later, on a slightly taller plant which starts to cling when it gets over 1 m tall. C. mandshurica has larger flowers which are more fragrant than C. recta. It is also similar to C. terniflora, the sweet autumn clematis, which blooms a month later on much taller plants and has a much stronger tendency to climb.

Some sources give it a variety status and name it Clematis terniflora var. mandshuricaC. mandshurica is also incorrectly spelled C. mandschurica and C. mandchurica.

Prune hard in spring (Group 3). The plant in the pictures is a first time flowering seedling about three years old and is about 120 cm (4 ft) tall.

Clematis mandshurica; photo by Robert Pavlis

Clematis mandshurica; photo by Robert Pavlis

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 180 cm (6ft)

Bloom Time: mid-summer

Natural Range: China, Mongolia, Russia (Siberia) and North Korea

Habitat: dry slopes, shrubby areas, forest margins

Synonyms:  Clematis recta var. mandshurica, (Clematis fusca var. mandshurica is a synonym for C. fusca)


Light: full sun

Soil: well drained

Water: drought tollerant

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3– 9

Propagation: seed, division

           Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): occasionally       

At one time, we advised "Tails may inhibit germination. Remove them." The advice applied primarily to pulsatillas and clematises. Our most recent data indicates that leaving the tails on has no effect on germination.
Sow @ 20°C for 6 weeks, then place @ 4°C for 6 weeks, then slowly raise temperature to 10°C for 6 weeks. If there is no germination, repeat the cycle. This mimics fall sowing outdoors for spring germination.
Robert Pavlis