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Plant Profile – Clematis Recta ‘Purpurea’

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Fragrant Blooming Clematis recta 'Purpurea'

Fragrant Blooming Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’

Clematis recta means upright clematis!

Clematis recta is a surprise perennial for many clematis lovers. That’s because we usually think of climbing vines when we hear “clematis.” But this one doesn’t have to climb.

‘Purpurea’ means purple!

Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’ is the purple form of this upright clematis. But it’s the foliage that’s purple, not the flowers. In fact, the blooms are white. And the foliage is both purple with tones of purple-grey as well.

It’s kind of a climber too…

Clematis recta purpurea is a perennial that mostly stands upright. But truly, it does like to climb a bit too. So like its climbing clematis cousins, upright clematis does have twining petioles. And that means the leaf stalk twists around anything it meets, helping the plant hold on. So while you can stake it, there’s no need to give it a climbing structure. But when it emerges from the soil, it easily grows to about five feet tall. After that it can start flopping a bit under its own weight. But the cascading flowers become a stunning in a back-of-border or mid-tier location within a mixed bed.

But, Clematis recta tends to hold onto itself rather than spread like mad throughout a bed like other clematis might do. Of course, you could take advantage of those twining petioles to train it to a fence or staking system or even around the base of a tree.

Plus this perennial is fragrant!

It is sweet as can be for you, me and the bees. In fact, wild bees flocking to Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’. And almost looks like they shovel the abundant pollen onto their legs. Those pollinators act intoxicated by these fragrant white flowers. So it’s funny to see them tumbling through the blooms.

How to care for this Clematis…

There’s little to do with this simple perennial. Just cut it to the ground at the end of the season. Mulch it well, and your Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’ should emerge again by mid-spring to flower fragrantly for you and for the pollinators.

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6 comments on “Plant Profile – Clematis Recta ‘Purpurea’

  1. Garden Mentors on

    Chandra, There are many things that can impact flowering. It may be the environmental like the soil or watering or how much sunlight the plant gets. Or, it could be the age of the plant. It could be improper pruning. Or, it could be something else. Without details on the situation, we aren’t able to address individual issues like this. You might try brining in a consultant local to your area to assess the situation. Good luck.

  2. Karen EB on

    I live in Minneapolis Minnesota and have enjoyed my Clematis Recta immensely. She is doing very well, however, her spot has become very shady. I have the perfect spot to move her with soil conditions she’ll do well in.
    I would like to move her this fall…thoughts and advise?
    Many thanks!

  3. Garden Mentors on

    Karen, Thanks for writing in and sharing your love of Clematis recta! Here in the PacNW where we garden the most, late summer/early autumn is an ideal time to transplant. Early spring, before growth really kicks into gear is another great time. Given your very cold winters, perhaps wait until early spring to do your transplant? Or, if you know other perennials transplant well for you in fall, likely this one will do fine with an autumn transplant too. Just be sure to water it in well and mulch it well after moving it. Doing that can really help the transition. Let us know how it works out for you!

  4. Ilse on

    I just dug this plant up between cracks in the sidewalk because I thought it was pretty. I have it inside under my grow light. Do you think you can keep growing it all year long if it is inside? Or should I still cut it back to the ground in fall?

  5. Garden Mentors on

    Ilse, Thanks for writing in. In our experience, this plant is best to grow outside. Since we haven’t grown it as an indoor plant, it’s difficult to say what will work best for you. How it behaves under lights will likely be impacted by the quality of the light, the hours of light, the heat it gets, and more. So it may or may not work to keep it indoors. And it may or may not be ideal to cut it down for fall. If you keep it inside, please let us know what you do and how it performs for you.

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