Our plant of the week has gone thru several name changes over the past 20 years, but the plant itself has stayed exactly the same...and that’s a good thing! Just when you think everything is finishing up for the summer, this vigorous vine begins to put on a spectacular show of 2 inch creamy white flowers, followed by the most attractive fluffy silvery seed heads. And did I mention the flowers (of which there are thousands) not only look great - they have a fragrance that will fill the air in your entire yard?
The plant of the week is Clematis terniflora, or commonly known as ‘Sweet Autumn Clematis’. Now this isn’t your normal clematis...Sweet Autumn is a very vigorous vine that can grow 20-30 feet in one season, but easily maintained by cutting back to 10-12 inches above the ground every spring. Dark green leaves during the growing season, Sweet Autumn loves to cover fences, pergolas, arbors, and will vine up and thru existing plantings. But it’s late August and September when this vigorous viner truly puts on one spectacular fragrant show. M-m-m, I can smell it now!
(Sweet Autumn clematis grows in sun to part shade, tolerates most soils as long as they are well drained, and hardy zones 4-9. The species name of this plant has been changed from maximowicziniana to paniculata to chinensis to dioscoreifolia to thunbergii to terniflora. But the vigorous vine and sweet smelling flowers have remained the same!)