A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 67 – Sweet Autumn Clematis

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“Sweet Autumn Clematis” – Summer/Fall 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Clematis terniflora… Or the name I prefer… “Sweet Autumn Clematis”… I mean really… Who in the hell wants to call a plant “Clematis terniflora”… When it has such a beautifully descriptive common name… Sweet Autumn Clematis… In my mind… Sweet Autumn Clematis is a plant of seasonal memories… It is a plant of poetry… It is a plant of Autumn

In most places this plant is now considered an invasive weed… I have seen the base of this vine reach a massive size… And it doesn’t take long to grow to that size… 4 or 5 years of uncontrolled growth will produce a huge amount of plant material… SAC is a profuse bloomer… Each of those blossoms produces 4 to 6 feather-topped seeds… These seeds are designed to travel… I often find SAC growing up in the branches of trees… It is not uncommon to find thousands of seedlings directly downwind (East) of the tree…

Sweet Autumn Clematis has a wicked taproot… When it is young it is easy to pull… But after it has put on a set of mature leaves it becomes difficult… If you break the plant off above the crown it will rapidly re-sprout a bunch of new shoots… The only way to kill it at this point is sever the crown from the roots… The easiest way to do this is with a garden spade pushed into the earth at a 45 degree angle… Sever all the roots… Remove and dispose of the crown…

Although I am aware of the invasive tendencies of this plant… I still grow it… In fact… It is one of my favorite late bloomers… I have SAC strategically planted around the house (I live in an apartment but my landlady lets me garden the hell out of it)… In the autumn months when SAC is in bloom the AC unit comes down and the windows are open… I fall asleep to the scent of Sweet Autumn Clematis on a nightly basis…

Control and maintenance is surprisingly simple… It is important to remember that SAC is not your typical Clematis… It can handle serious abuse… I brutally prune mine all through the spring and summer… I like them to grow in very specific locations… Anytime a new runner starts to grow I cut it off… The result is a long stem that leads to a pom-pom of green-leaves… I will prune it up until the end of summer… Because of my pruning efforts I also get a more concentrated area of blooms… This summer I plan on actually bringing the front yard clematis up to my window when it begins to bloom… I have been planning for this for 4 years… I am 90% sure I trained enough stem to get it up there…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clematis_terniflora

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 21 – Clematis

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“Clematis on Lattice” – Summer 2013 – The Chicks in the Hood Tour – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Clematis are vigorous, woody, climbing vines… The woody stems are quite fragile until several years old… Untangling and pruning is extremely difficult… I pride myself on being able to successfully work with them… I have clients that won’t let anyone get close to their clematis… Except me… Leaves are opposite and divided into leaflets and leaf stalks that twist and curl around supporting structures to anchor the plant as it climbs. Some species are shrubs… While others are herbaceous perennial plants… The cool temperate species are deciduous… But many of the warmer climate species are evergreen. They grow best in cool, moist, well-drained soil in full sun…

Clematis species are mainly found throughout the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere… But a few are found in the tropics…

The timing and location of flowers varies… Spring-blooming clematis flower on side shoots of the previous year’s stems… Summer/fall blooming clematis bloom only on the ends of new stems… Twice-flowering clematis do both…

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“Cluster of Clematis” – Summer 2013 – The Chicks in the Hood Tour – Pittsburgh. PA

In the American Old West the Western white clematis was called pepper vine by early travelers and pioneers who took a tip from Spanish colonials and used the seeds as a pepper substitute… The entire genus contains essential oils and compounds which are extremely irritating to the skin and mucous membranes… Unlike black pepper… The compounds in clematis cause internal bleeding of the digestive tract if ingested in large amounts… When pruning them… It’s a good idea to wear gloves… Despite its toxicity… Native Americans used very small amounts of clematis as an effective treatment for migraine headaches and nervous disorders… It was also used as an effective treatment of skin infections…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.