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Clematis chinensis Retz.

Modern name

Clematis chinensis Osbeck

A vigorous deciduous climber, the stems ribbed, glabrous except for some down at the nodes. Leaves pinnate, composed of five leaflets, the leaf-stalks curling round whatever support is available. Leaflets ovate or heart-shaped, three- or five-veined; 112 to 3 in. long; minutely downy on the midrib, otherwise glabrous. Flowers fragrant, white, 12 to 34 in. wide, produced numerously in cymose panicles springing from the leaf-axils in September and October. Sepals four, very narrow, downy on the margins. Seed-vessel covered with appressed hairs, each terminated by a slender style that is 1 to 112 in. long and clothed with fine white hairs.

Native of Central and W. China and known to science since 1781, when it was described and figured by Retzius in his Observationes Botanicae, ii, t. 2. Wilson found it when collecting for Messrs Veitch in 1900 and introduced it then or soon after. Judging by its behaviour at Kew it is a vigorous grower and quite hardy, but often develops its flowers too late to escape autumn cold.



Other species in the genus