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Clematis virginiana

Clematis virginiana - devil’s darning needles ( or Virgin’s bower, old man’s beard

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This clematis is common in the forests, roadsides and riverbanks of the eastern parts of North America. It climbs up trees, grows over bushes and fences or – if it has nothing to cling on to – along the ground.

We have added devil’s darning needles to our clematis collection because of the great increase in interest in recent years, but it is still quite rare in Finland. The little white flowers form on new stalks, but whether they actually come out in the short Finnish summer depends on their origin. At Mustila we have blossom every autumn near the Festival Area. The seeds of our variety were collected in Quebec in 2002 and the plants have adapted well to the short growing season

The flowers are small, white and fragrant. This clematis is dioecious, meaning that each plant carries only male or female flowers. The caryopses on the female flowers form furry balls as they dry. Once devil’s darning needles has become established, it thrives even in Finland and the shoots may grow several metres in one summer. It is worth planting for its strong growth and beautiful, sturdy foliage alone: any blossom is then an added bonus!

 

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