Content Detail

Italian clematis is a species of clematis with purple or violet flowers that are shaped like hanging bells.

  • Family (English) Buttercup
  • Family (botanic) Ranunculaceae
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Vine
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil
  • Season of interest early summer, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance Blue, Purple
  • Shape or form Vining
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and Method of Climbing: 

Italian clematis is a relatively small vine, growing about 10-12 feet long. It is a twining vine with twining petioles. Twining vines climb by twisting their stems or leaf stalks around a support. This type of vine grows well on trellises, arbors, wires, or chain-link fences.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Italian Clematis is native to Italy and Turkey.

Leaf description: 

The leaves are opposite and pinnately divided.

Flower description: 

The flowers are purple to violet in color. They are bell-shaped and composed of four petal-like sepals.

Fruit description: 

The fruits are groups of achenes, each with a short tail.

Plant care: 

Italian Clematis prefers full sun to partial sun. Some shade during the day can be beneficial in hot summers. It does best in moist, well-drained soils. Mulch to help keep the roots cool. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil pH. It flowers on new wood, so it should be pruned in winter or early spring.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Leaf spots are common among clematis, as is stem wilt, a more serious problem. Powdery mildew can also occur. It is tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Betty Corning clematis (Clematis ‘Betty Corning’):

This is a  cross between Clematis crispa and C. viticella. It has lavender flowers that are fragrant. It flowers on both new and old wood.

Etoile Violette clematis (Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’): 

This cultivar has deep purple flowers that are produced in abundance.

Pink Mink® clematis (Clematis ‘Krakowiak’): 

This cultivar has pink flowers with deeper pink stripes.

Polish Spirit clematis (Clematis ‘Polish Spirit’): 

This cultivar flowers heavily for much of the season.

Purpurea Plena Elegans clematis (Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’): 

A double flowered cultivar with rose-purple color.

Venosa Violacea clematis (Clematis ‘Venosa Violacea’): 

The flowers have a white background with blue-purple veins and margins.


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