Clematis (KLEM-ah-tis) are not yet as popular in the United States as they have been in Great Britain, but that is changing rapidly. Many new varieties of these lovely flowering vines have been developed and are now available. Although it may take several years for clematis to bloom with the density that it is capable of, the wait is worth it. Because they’re large flowers are purple, something of a rarity among flowering vines, the Jackman Clematis (Clematis x jackmanii) are among the most popular of these perennial climbers. They are versatile, easy to grow and extremely long-lived.

Size: Jackman Clematis vines grow in a tall, narrow habit. They climb 8 to 10 feet or more in their first season with very little spread. If the new tips are pinched back a bit the second year, they will spread horizontally. They can then be trained to spread as broadly as desired.

Foliage: The leaves of Jackman Clematis grow opposite each other on the thin stems. They are medium green, either oval or three-parted. The vine climbs by twining its leafstalks around any nearby support.

Flowers: Clematis' plentiful flowers bloom on the current year's growth from June or July to September. Broad and flat, they are 4 to 5 inches across, and colored a rich purple (other jackmanii varieties are rose-pink or purplish red). The 4 to 6 large "petals" are actually modified leaves, called sepals. Birds are attracted to the flowers and fruits, which are small seeds with feathery plumes that add interest to the plants for weeks after the flowers are gone.

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