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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Clematis Forever Friends: New from Thorncroft Clematis

Posted by Graham Rice on 13 Aug 2009 at 05:12 PM

Clematis Forever Friends ('Zofofri’) - new from Thorncroft Clematis Nursery. Image: ©J. van Zoest B.V.Clematis ‘Jackmanii' is perhaps the most famous clematis of all. It's that more or less indestructible, very prolific, vivid purple variety (usually with just four petals) that flowers in summer and autumn and which you can easily prune simply by cutting it back hard every spring. Now, we have a white-flowered form.

If you've seen the name ‘Jackmanii Alba' you might believe that a white form already exists but in fact ‘Jackmanii Alba' is a big frilly double. So bring on Forever Friends ('Zofofri').

As prolific as ‘Jackmanii', this clematis has flowers which nod slightly or look right out at you horizontally and which are made up of five or six petals more often than the four of ‘Jackmanii'. Each flower is 6-9 cm/2 -3½in across and pure with a rich texture which you can see in the pictures (click to enlarge) and a distinctive reddish eye. You might also notice an occasional faint pink or violet tinge but the mass of white flowers is what is so striking. It reaches about 3m/10ft.

Clematis Forever Friends ('Zofofri’) - new from Thorncroft Clematis Nursery. Image: ©J. van Zoest B.V.Raised in The Netherlands by the renowned clematis breeder Wim Snoeijer, the plant is named in memory of his father Piet Snoeijer - and it's always a good sign when a plant breeder has a plant he knows is so good that it deserves to carry the name of one of his parents.

This is an ideal plant to train through stout shrubs and small trees, as well as established climbing roses, and just needs the usual clematis care - and a hard prune in spring.

You can order Clematis Forever Friends ('Zofofri') from Thorncroft Clematis Nursery for delivery in September.



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