Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’, commonly known as Sweet Autumn Clematis or Sweet Autumn Virginsbower, is a vigorous and fragrant climbing plant that adds beauty and fragrance to the garden.
Here are the key features and care guidelines for this delightful clematis:
- Sweet Autumn Clematis features bipinnate dark green leaves and produces a profusion of very fragrant, starry white flowers that are approximately 1.5 inches (4 cm) across.
- The flowers are veined and edged with a charming ruby-purple color, adding an attractive contrast to the white petals.
- This clematis is a hybrid between Clematis flammula (fragrant virgin’s bower) and Clematis viticella (the Italian or purple clematis), inheriting both the fragrance of the former and the purple tints of the latter.
- Blooming from mid-summer to early fall, the plant offers a long-lasting display of fragrant blooms that can be enjoyed during the late growing season.
- Sweet Autumn Clematis can quickly grow up to 10-12 feet (300-360 cm) in length and has a spread of 3-6 feet (90-180 cm).
- This clematis thrives in moist, well-drained soils and can be grown in full sun to part shade. It’s often recommended to provide a situation where the roots are shaded while the upper parts of the plant receive sun. This can be achieved by planting lower-growing plants around its base or adding a layer of mulch or stones.
- It can be grown in small spaces, making it suitable for urban gardens, and is an excellent choice for climbing walls, trellises, fences, pergolas, arches, or other garden structures. It can also be allowed to scramble through shrubs or sprawl along the ground.
Pruning and Maintenance:
- Sweet Autumn Clematis belongs to the third group of clematis, which flower in late summer on growth made in the same season. These clematis should be pruned in late winter or early spring, and they benefit from “hard pruning.”
- To prune, cut back the stems to a pair of strong buds about 1 foot (30 cm) above ground level before new growth begins in early spring. This promotes strong growth, flowering, and a neat appearance.
- It’s important to note that Sweet Autumn Clematis is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Care should be taken to keep pets away from the plant.
Benefits and Uses:
- Sweet Autumn Clematis is known for its vigorous growth, fragrant flowers, and charming coloration. It can quickly cover walls, fences, and other structures, creating a lush and fragrant backdrop.
- The plant’s ability to thrive in small spaces makes it suitable for city gardens and compact landscapes.
- Its late-season blooming period adds interest and color to the garden when many other plants have finished flowering.
- The fragrant flowers attract pollinators, adding to the overall biodiversity of the garden.
In conclusion, Sweet Autumn Clematis is a wonderful addition to the garden, offering fragrant blooms, a vigorous growth habit, and the ability to cover vertical spaces with lush greenery and colorful flowers. Its late-season flowering period, ease of cultivation, and adaptability to various garden settings make it a popular choice among gardeners who seek a reliable and visually appealing climbing plant.