Though they don’t have the in-your-face flash of large-flowered hybrid clematis, the daintier native species clematis are graced with a charm all their own. I’m particularly fond of the “leatherflower” or “leather flower” types: those with relatively small, nodding, bell-shaped blooms that have thick petals with recurved tips, all blooming on the current-year’s growth. I have several species in my southeastern Pennsylvania garden, including pale leatherflower (C. versicolor), vasevine (C. viorna), and whiteleaf leather flower (C. glaucophylla), among others—all started many years ago from seed-exchange seeds. As far as I know, they are correctly identified, though I can’t absolutely swear to it. There is a good bit of variability in some of these species, anyway, and colors can vary a bit depending on the light and temperature. I have found a number of seedlings in the garden in the last few years, and they are starting to reach flowering size, blooming in a variety of colors. Some are obviously natural crosses between the various species.
Considering that all of the blooms are lovely, and that leatherflowers as a group are so hard to find for sale as either plants or seeds, I decided to combine the seeds of a half-dozen different species and crosses for this listing. The photos here show some of the plants I collected these seeds from. There is no guarantee as to the exact traits you will see in the seedlings from these seeds, but I have never yet seen an ugly one!
The only bad thing I can say about the leatherflower clematis is that they are not easy to start from seed (more on that in the germination section).
Full sun to partial shade. As far as I know, the plants from these seeds should be hardy in Zones 4 or 5 to 9.
Collected in August through early November 2023. At least 15 seeds. Unknown ecotypes. Shipping to US addresses only.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.