Large Flowered Hybrid Clematis Year 2000

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NewP30-2000.jpg (47241 bytes)

                         Just another blue?  Seedling P30-2000, first flowers. (Not named)                    

For we amateurs, raising seedlings of large-flowered hybrid clematis can be fascinating and rewarding. 

Many photos follow the text. 

Often,  the parentage of seedlings is unknown, depending on the source of the seed. Or, more likely, you know the identity of the seed (female) parent, but not the pollen parent. Only if you make your own crossings do you know both parents, unless you can acquire seed of known parentage; even then you don't know for sure.

So the plants you raise are very likely to possess unique characteristics. The genetic material, which ultimately determines the physical traits of the mature plant, is subject to variation, or re-arrangement, to a greater or lesser degree, during the process of reproduction.  You may obtain seedlings which have flowers similar to, or very different from the parent or parents. You don't know precisely what to expect.

Therefore, when a plant produces its first flower bud or buds, you watch the development of the bud with an exceedingly keen eye. The anticipation builds in proportion, during the time the bud takes to develop. You make sure the plant is pest-free, watered, and molly-coddled!

A day or two before opening, you are aware that things are finally imminent - and then, when the flower actually opens, you are pleased, excited and amazed, sometimes taken aback,  at the sight. You marvel at the fact that it is indeed possible to succeed in producing superb, new flowers.  Hopefully you have raised several other plants, which will shortly follow the first plant into flower. You have completed the cycle, and now know that you too can succeed in producing a certain number of new plants each year. You plan accordingly, with great anticipation for the next season.

You take photos and begin to build up a record of your blooms to-date. You then repeat the entire cycle, at whatever frequency you prefer, depending on your level of interest -   and the time available!

Of course, not all of your seedlings are perfect and beautiful; some may be weak and spindly, or given to succumbing to any pest or other problems that arise. But that's not to say they are not attractive, still. They may or may not be. Being your own judge,  you eventually decide whether to keep the plant or not.

But there is something very special about the anticipation that you experience when the first flower of a new plant opens. Every time!

Seedlings stage

Once the second set of leaves are visible I turn out the pot (all its contents) onto a level surface. Carefully coax the whole cylinder of soil and seeds, roots now clearly visible, from the pot and onto a sheet of newspaper or similar. The paper makes handling the pot's contents easier. Also, when you have finished, its easy to clear up, because all the soil is still on the sheet - saves getting soil in every nook and cranny.

The soil should not be completely dry; if need be, dampen it. (Buy a couple of small spray-bottles).  Ideally the mix should 'give', under finger pressure.  The individual seedlings can be carefully teased from the mix and re-potted into small pots, taking care not to firm too much, also, top-up each pot with very fine gravel if available.  Water each small pot to re-establish the roots, and moisten the new compost, to encourage root growth. A weak fungicide may be utilised at this time. Add a few granules of slow-release fertiliser, if available; if not, don't worry, the new soil should provide sufficient nutrient until the next potting-on stage is reached. You'll want your compost to have some peat (or substitute) to retain moisture, but with some grit to aid drainage.

Bear in mind that plants need water, nutrient, light, carbon dioxide and a reasonable degree of warmth.

click on small images to enlarge, click "back" to come back

Seedling P112-2000, first flower.

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Seedling P112-2000, later flowers:          

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Clematis LFH seedlings can come on really quickly. You might find you move from a small pot to a 1-litre pot; then from a 1-litre to 2-litre pot, in one season, and be able to produce a flower in the same year; however, some sources of information I have seen suggest removing early flowers, on the one hand to strenghthen (in the sense "to not weaken") the plant, and on the other hand because early flowers are not always representative, anyway.   Like many things it's a matter of trial and error, over time, and dependent on a range of factors, more-experienced raisers and experts will know a lot more.

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What a thrill when seedling P36-2000 produced these magnificent giant 8"+ flowers for the first time, at my small overflow area. Can't wait for later this year!

What to expect

Its not possible to say for sure what type of flowers or colours you may get.  In the absence of sufficient data of my own, the only thing I can offer at this point is some general information from which you'll draw your own conclusions.

If you take a look at the International Clematis Society Newsletter of Spring 1985, there is a wonderful article by Vilhelmine Riekstina, then at the Botanical Garden of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, in Riga, Latvia. The article comprises data on LFH cultivars raised in the former USSR by various now-well-known breeders, from the entire 25 years between 1958 and 1972. I'm no statistician (!) but it's interesting to summarise the information on the plants' flower colours.

A very wide range of seed-parents were utilised, including many well-known LFH varieties, plus some not-so-well-known's. These were fertilised using a high number of different pollen sources, and, into the bargain, many differing pollen mixtures. Many seedlings were raised, over a long period of time, and, no doubt, many seedlings were eventually discarded, as you'd expect,  as selections were made.

From all the plants raised by many breeders over many years, data is presented on about 138 plants. A reasonable selection. The colours of the final plants were:

Colour of flowers

Number of plants

Percentage of total




Wisteria blue





















Of all these plants, 18, or 13%, were plants whose flowers were "barred"; that is, the flower tepals were like, say, Nelly Moser,  (or like seedling P112, photo above) with a prominent bar of a different hue.

Bear in mind this is just a basic summary, and not meant in any way to be a statistical summary! (I tired of chi-squared and standard deviation etc many years ago. The data is insufficiently specific anyway).

Incidentally, the above reminds me yet again of the value of the past Journals of the Clematis Societies. The information in these publications is priceless.

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This was seedling G12 in May 2000, flowering for the second time, having germinated late December 1998; in the greenhouse:

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Don't know about this next one, yet. These first flowers of seedling P33-2000 inclined to an eventually "double" flower, probably blue. Looks a bit like "Belle of Woking". This plant will flower for only the second time in 2001, and if of interest will re-appear in due course. The plant has borne seeds from these first flowers.

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Here's a close-up: Click on photo to enlarge. Click you browser's "back" button to come back here.

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P111-1999.jpg.jpg (31378 bytes)   P111-1999-2.jpg (13285 bytes)  

These two above images show seedling P111's first flowers in 1999; P111 from this year (2000) is at the very bottom of the home page.  

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Two images of seedling P115:          

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Seedling P32-1999 first  bloom

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First flowers of P34-5/2000 . The flowers were actually more pink than in the photo. 

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Difficult to photograph accurately, the colours being subtle, first flower opened by T35-1999 is next:

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A further, lovely, white; seedling T113-2000. The flowers have some scent too.  

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More-mature flowers of T113

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Here's another plant raised in the greenhouse.  Note the high degree of overlap of the broad sepals of T114:-

T116B-2000.jpg (25185 bytes)

More whites;  seedling:- T116B, a really lovely flower

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Seedling:- T116A

Below, another white seed-raised clematis; these two images show T117's first flower in September 1999, on the left, and the first flower in May 2000, on the right.

 T117(x2).jpg (36342 bytes)

September 1999   May 2000

Although the next plant's flowers were not so much a revelation, I did catch the first bud in the process of opening, which is a good illustration of how you will first glimpse the colour of any seedling you might raise yourself:-

As you know it's always pleasant to work in the greenhouse when it's wet outside!:

G10-1999.jpg (12344 bytes) G10-2-1999.jpg (28648 bytes)

Seedling G10's first flower, above.

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Seedling G14:-

Seedlings G10, G12, G14 (above) and G20B are all progeny of LFH 'General Sikorski', which grows next to LFH 'Ville de Lyon', in my garden.

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Seedling G35 

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Seedling S8 is a very gappy flower, another purple.

This next plant, Seedling B1, I bought at the AGM of the British Clematis Society on 13th March 1999, from Mike Brown, the Ex-Chairman of the Society. It is a very floriferous plant and  produced blooms non-stop throughout the entire Summer of 2000. The plant is non-clinging, like Durandii, and the individual flowers last a long time.

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Seedling B1

That concludes the new LFH plants plants flowered as at October 2000.  The next page shows the plants raised and flowered in 2001.