Clematis spp. (Leatherflower Clematis Mix) [15 Seeds]

$4.25

Germination Information: I recommend these seeds for experienced seed-starters only, because germination may be very slow and irregular, requiring a good bit of patience. The easiest approach is to sow the seeds 1/4 to 1/2″ deep in fall to midwinter, setting them outdoors in a spot protected from mice so they can germinate when they decide conditions are right. (That’s how I got my original seeds started.)

If you sow much after December, you could try setting the pot in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for about 3 months before moving it to a warm, bright place for germination. (Remove the bag if the pot will be exposed to any direct sun.) It may take several alternating cycles of cold and warm temperatures for the seeds to germinate.

Please, be warned that growing these clematis is not likely to be easy. I feel confident that the seeds themselves are good: I very carefully separate the largest seeds from those I know aren’t viable, and I sacrifice some of the good batch as I clean them to make sure that the seed coats enclose healthy-looking centers (cutting them open to check). Some references say that it may take anywhere from one to three years for sprouting to occur. I find a fair number of clematis seedlings in my garden each year, but I have no way of knowing exactly how long it took each one to appear.

If you’re able to find a source for an already-started species plant, that is really the best way to go; otherwise, trying from seed may be your only option. If you are interested in reading more about various approaches to growing clematis from seeds, check out this off-site article: Growing Clematis from Seed.

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Description

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. I grow several species in my southeastern Pennsylvania garden, including pale leatherflower (C. versicolor), vasevine (C. viorna), and whitevein 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.

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 to October 2020. At least 15 seeds.

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