Clematis are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin but the genus name is from an ancient Greek word ‘klema' meaning ‘climbing plant’. It arrived in Europe during the Victorian
era There are around 297 different species the first one named in 1753 as Clematis Viticella, new varieties are still being produced. Clematis are mostly vigorous, woody climbing vines which are quite fragile in their first few years. They can be either deciduous
or evergreen, they will scramble up walls and fences and produce masses of colourful attractive flowers. The caterpillars of moths and butterflies will eat their leaves but for humans they can be toxic and cause severe skin irritation and internal bleeding
if eaten. Wearing gloves when pruning is recommended. A clematis when in flower has that ‘wow’ factor about it that stops one in their tracks and look in wonder.