Content Detail

Scarlet clematis is native only to Texas, but is hardy in more northern climates. The urn-shaped flowers are smaller than many types of clematis and are various shades of scarlet or pink.

  • Family (English) Buttercup
  • Family (botanic) Ranunculaceae
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Vine
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, Red
  • Shape or form Vining
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and Method of Climbing:

Scarlet clematis can grow up to 20 feet long. It is a twining vine and also has petioles that twine. 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:

Scarlet clematis is only native to Texas.

Leaf description:

Opposite leaves are pinnately divided.

Flower description:

Flowers are urn-shaped and smaller than those typical of clematis. They come in various shades of scarlet or pink and have four petal-like sepals. 

Fruit description:

The fruits are groups of achenes, each one with a long plume of hairs.

Plant care:

Full sun is best for good flowering. Plant in moist, well-drained soil and mulch to keep roots cool. 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, which is a more serious problem. Powdery mildew can also occur. Scarlet clematis is tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

These cultivars all have Clematis texensis parentage.

Duchess of Albany scarlet clematis (Clematis texensis ‘Duchess of Albany’):

Tulip-shaped flowers are pink with some red mixed in.

Gravetye Beauty scarlet clematis (Clematis texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty’):

A smaller cultivar, growing about 6 feet long, it has deep red flowers opening to a star shape.

Princess Diana scarlet clematis (Clematis texensis ‘Princess Diana’):

This cultivar has larger flowers that are pink with a darker pink stripe.


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