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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

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Clematis ‘Celebration’: new golden leaved clematis

Posted by Graham Rice on 17 Aug 2010 at 12:25 PM

Clematis,Celebration,yellow,gold,Jackmanii Alba,Thorncroft. Image ©Sussex Plants (all rights reserved)Yes, ‘Celebration’ is the first large flowered clematis with golden yellow leaves.

As you can see from the picture (click to enlarge), the leaves really are bright yellow. What’s more the edges of the leaves are lined in red and the stems are red too. So the plant looks amazing even before flowering begins.

Then, in May and June, the double flowers open. Each flower is about 6in/15cm across, white with a blue tint, and with a gold flush on the basal petals. Later in the season the blooming is repeated, this time with single flowers. Prune every year after the display of double flowers, the plants should reach a height of about 6-8ft/1.8-2.4m).

Having said all that, the foliage looks so colourful that I’d be tempted to prune it hard in spring, miss out on those early flowers and grow it specifically as a foliage plant. There would still be single flowers later. I’m looking forward to trying both approaches. Leaf colour is best in full sun and in soil which is not too rich; Sussex Plants, who introduced the plant, say “avoid overfeeding”.

‘Celebration’ is a gold-leaved sport of the nineteenth century variety ‘Jackmanii Alba’ which has green foliage and double flowers with a little less blue colouring. ‘Celebration’ was discovered back in 1993 by Fred Godfrey of Sussex Plants, so it’s taken many years to bring the plant to the point when it can be made available.

For more information take a look at the ‘Celebration’ clematis website. To reserve a plant for dispatch next spring, go to the Clematis ‘Celebration’ page on the Thorncroft Clematis Nursery website.


asj said:

foliage doesn't do the flower justice - it would be so much better with green.  as you say, cut off flowers and just have foliage, but then what's the point of growing clematis?

on 27 Aug 2010 at 05:07 PM

Graham Rice said:

I think a gold-leaved climber is well worth having, whether or not it's a clematis!

on 05 Sep 2010 at 03:05 PM