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Clematoclethra actinidioides Maxim.

Modern name

Clematoclethra scandens subsp. actinidioides (Maxim.) Y.C.Tang & Q.Y.Xiang

A climber up to 40 ft or more high; young shoots glabrous. Leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate, sometimes inclined to obovate, acuminate, rounded to cordate at the base, finely bristle-toothed; stalk 1 to 2 in. long, slender. Flowers 38 in. wide, axillary, solitary, in pairs, or in threes on stalks 12 to 34 in. long; petals rounded, white faintly flushed with rose; sepals ciliate, broadly ovate to obovate or roundish. Fruit a nearly globose, black or purplish black berry, 14 in. wide, seated on the calyx. Bot. Mag., t. 9439.

Native of China, mainly in the provinces of Szechwan and Kansu; introduced in 1908. It was successfully grown and flowered by the late Lord Wakehurst in his garden near Ardingly in Sussex.

C. integrifolia Maxim. Introduced by Wilson from W. China in 1908, this is very near C. actinidioides and has, in fact, been made synonymous with it in the Botanical Magazine. The leaves are glabrous and glaucous beneath. It climbs 20 to 25 ft high, the flowers white and fragrant. Discovered by Potanin, the Russian traveller, in Kansu, in 1887. The name integrifolia does not entirely fit the plants now attributed to the species, for they have finely bristle-toothed leaves.

C. lasioclada Maxim. has downy, not bristly, young shoots. The leaves are ovate, 2 to 4 in. long, bristle-toothed, and have tufts of down in the vein-axils beneath; stalks up to 212 in. long. Flowers white, in cymes of two to seven blossoms. Fruit globose, 13 in. wide, black. This is a climber 20 to 25 ft high according to Wilson, who introduced it from W. China in 1908.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

It was stated in the original printing of the current edition that this species was grown by Lord Wakehurst in his garden near Ardingly. In fact it still grows there, at Wakehurst Place, now an extension of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. It also does well at Rowallane in Co. Down.



Other species in the genus