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
  • 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 (Chicago), Zone 6, 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 4 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 (wilt being the 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’): 

A cultivar with 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 on this clematis.


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