PLANT OF THE WEEK #85: Clematis ‘Rooguchi’


The reality is that just about any well-grown clematis, besides maybe the extra widespread montana sorts, is more likely to induce a groan of acquisitive longing from me.  There’s simply one thing so other-worldly about them, in order that even when you understand they’re actual, once they’re proper earlier than your eyes, they’re too good to be true.

However that is particularly so, for me, with those who squeeze in on the waist earlier than the sepals flare, like texensis and its hybrids.  I’m unsure fairly describe them.  As lame because it feels to write down it, they seem like they’re puckering up for a kiss.

Which leads me to Clematis ‘Rooguchi’.  That is considered one of that very quick listing of vegetation that it’s simply not potential to overrate.  For poise and class it’s proper off the charts.  The flared, bell-shaped flowers dangle from lengthy, slender, indigo-stained stems.  Really, ‘dangle’ will not be the suitable phrase.  Whenever you tilt up the stems, the flowers tilt outwards accordingly, in order that they’re held rigidly on this place, and solely seem like hanging.

It even veers off the plausibility charts. Every sepal is powerfully ribbed on the skin, the ribs undulating via inky blue colouring of such glossiness that you just’d swear they’d been polished. Simply over midway down the bell, the 4 sepals cut up aside, and whereas I can’t determine the way it works, it’s as if the within floor of the flower continues to increase, in order that the cut up edge, in suede-like pale demin, flares to provide a misunderstanding of sepal thickness.  

Rattling.  I’m making a large number of this.  I wished to remain all poetic – to do much less is to undersell it – however my description sounds extra like a deconstruction.

Like considered one of its mother and father, C. integrifolia, C.’Rooguchi’ is a non-climber, and is finest scrambling over a shrub, or over a wall.  Mine grows in opposition to a home-made trellis with sticks leading to 15cm openings, one thing like the dimensions of these in concrete reo, so I simply push the stems although the trellis as they develop.  On this yr, given the rainfall, it has flowered at 2m tall.  

The one draw back with C. ‘Rooguchi’ is that it’s topic to mildew when confused. The primary two years this gorgeous a lot ruined its show for me, however this yr it has remained clear – up to now.  Some authorities say that it’s worst on younger vegetation, but it surely seems like I’m asking for bother if I declare mine has grown out of it.

As for its nice pedigree, nobody says it higher than the writers for – ‘Some (breeders) are technicians, some are gamblers, and a few are visionaries, such because the late Kazushige Ozawa. He imagined a superlative bell-shaped flower of nuanced shade acceptable to his viewers, performers of the Japanese tea ceremony. This ceremony requires a single evocative bloom to boost the temper of the ceremony. For this goal he wed Clematis integrifolia to Clematis reticulata to create C. ‘Rooguchi.’

It has been in bloom for months in my backyard, and stand and stare as I’d, I nonetheless can’t fairly consider that it’s actual.

BTW, I’m fairly keen on the widespread montanas.  They simply don’t fairly make me coronary heart skip a beat in the identical method because the summer-flowering kinds do