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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

Two new clematis: from Thorncroft Clematis

Posted by Graham Rice on 13 Aug 2011 at 12:06 PM

New Clematis from Thorncroft Clematis. Images ©Thorncrtoft ClematisEvery year Thorncroft Clematis introduce new varieties and this year two of them are a little different from the usual run of large-flowered varieties. Both were seen first at this year's Chelsea Flower Show but with so many new plants launched this year, they may have got lost in the rush. Each has a very distinctive flower form.

Queen Mother ('Zoqum') (above left, click to enlarge) is a beautiful Viticella Group clematis which features exciting bell-shaped flowers in mauve pink – darker on the outside and paler within, the pale colouring showing where the bell splits and the edges roll back.

Blooming prolifically from June to November, the plant reaches 4-6ft/1.2-1.8m in height and, as is usual with this type, plants are pruned hard just as the buds are swelling in early spring. It was raised in Germany by clematis breeder William Straver in 2003.

The other new clematis from Thorncroft Clematis with an intriguing flower shape is 'Sweetheart'. This is a non-clinging scrambler in the group derived from crossing a large-flowered hybrid withthe hardy perennial C. integrifolia. Each 3-4in/7.5-10cm flower has delightfully twisted petals in bright mauve pink with a dark streak along the centre of each petal.

Reaching 4-6ft/1.2-1.6m high and flowering from June to September, this is ideal working its way into a mature shrub for support and early each spring can be cut back hard and all the old growth removed. It should also be good tumbling over a wall.

Confusingly, there's already a clematis named 'Sweetheart' but a plant in very different style: it's a form of the evergreen C. x cartmanii with masses of small white flowers in early spring.

You can order Clematis Queen Mother ('Zoqum') from Thorncroft Clematis.

And you can also order Clematis 'Sweetheart' from Thorncroft Clematis.

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