A quirky clematis with orange peel-esque thick petals.
If Clematis tangutica went to a party with all the other flowers in its family, it would be the punky cousin wearing the ultra-quirky clothes drinking an ultra-cool drink in the corner. It’s not dressed like a bridesmaid like the pink ‘Nelly Moser’, or in a sweet, elegant way like C.armandii. In fact, it has such crazy clothes that though the flowers are much smaller than many mid-summer clematis, they are far more fascinating.
The flowers are so thick and orange peel-like and have such a lovely yellow colour. And they are followed by wonderful, fluffy seedheads, too.
The climber spreads quite enthusiastically when it is happy, and can cover a good seven metres in the right place. It prefers a sunny spot, and as ever, its roots need to be in the shade.
The two things that have scuppered my clematis-growing ambitions in the past have been a lack of support and pesky slugs. The first can be prevented by keeping the canes that the plant came fixed to, even if they don’t look very nice, to prevent the plant being whipped around by the wind and its fragile stems shattered. I use the same barrier system for clematis that I do with tender summer vegetables, although you can use a terracotta pot with its bottom smashed out and a ring of thick vaseline smeared around it to do the same job: this will also shade the roots nicely.