Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Clematis
Clematis montana var. rubens

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Clematis (KLEM-uh-tiss) (Info)
Species: montana var. rubens
Additional cultivar information: (aka Rubens)

Synonym:Clematis montana

» View all varieties of Clematis

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

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20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Bloom Color:

Flower Fragrance:
Slightly Fragrant

Bloom Shape:

Bloom Diameter:
Small - less than 2 inches (5 cm)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Unknown - Tell us

Pruning Groups:
Group 1 - Spring bloomers; no pruning

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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4 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Gascoigne On Jan 3, 2014, Gascoigne from Shawnee Mission, KS (Zone 5a) wrote:

Grows strong in Kansas City area, in a shady spot on the S. side of my house so it doesn't cook in summer. Grew fast once established! Not as fragrant as claimed, but very pretty and prolific! Been in the ground 2years now!

Neutral Clary On Oct 11, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I purchased this plant from an online vendor that listed its hardiness through zone 6. I planted the vine at a fence that is exposed on both sides and far from any structures. As soon as cold wet weather arrived, the vine died.

I have since read that the success of this plant in climates cooler than zone 7 largely depends on a suitable microclimate; sheltered roots, a wall that holds warmth, protection from wind, and such.

Negative chgogardennut On Oct 11, 2010, chgogardennut from Chicago, IL wrote:

This clematis was planted in 2008 in a shade area. In the spring of 2009, I cut it back since I was use to other clematis that need this in the spring. Oblivious, it did not bloom! So this spring of 2010, I left it alone and it still did not bloom. I am going to leave it in it's present location since it is thriving. What I mean by thriving is that it is growing ever though it is not flowering! Maybe next year, it will bloom for me??

I live in (Zone 5) Chicago, Illinois.

Positive suentommy On Sep 7, 2010, suentommy from Souderton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love this plant. It is a house eater and has to be trimmed and kept out of gutters but it looks so feathery on my front porch. It really softens the architecture. The only time I notice fragrance from the flowers is after dark when it has a light vanilla fragrance. I love sitting out on the porch and just catching whiffs of it. Our vine is 20 years old and in that time I've cut it back hard only twice. Make sure if you do plan on pruning it to do it right after flowering. If you wait too late you will have few flowers next season. This has always been hard for my husband to accept. In mid to late summer he sits on the porch each year and plans how he is going to cut it back to the ground. That is the constant problem I face with this plant.

Update: My "Rubens" is in bloom right now. It is gracefully draping over our front porch. Below it are cherry laurel bushes that are blooming. The effect looks like a waterfall of flowers going down towards the foamy cherry laurel flowers. It is really beautiful.

Neutral birder17 On Feb 8, 2010, birder17 from Jackson, MO (Zone 6b) wrote:

This clematis is rather twiggy looking and messy for me. Last summer was the first summer it really bloomed a lot. We had much more rain than usual. I have it in full sun and believe it would probably do better with a little shade. Mine has no fragrance. I have this vine on a trellis close to my Carefree Beauty Rose and very blue Balloon Flower.
I recommend cutting this vine to about 12 inches the first year to establish roots and have more vines for more blooms.

Positive doss On Apr 21, 2006, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Rubens is beautiful growing under the eaves of the patio. The foliage is lovely in zone 9 except for about 2 months when it goes dormant.
Even without flowers this vine is worth growing because of the lacy foliage. The flowers are wonderful in the spring although mine tend to be white instead of pink. It may be because it receives little light.
Although people say that it smells vanilla, I haven't found that mine does.
Like most clematis it is slow to start but will eventually grow to 30 feet with quite a substantial trunk.
This cultivar should only be pruned in spring after flowering. Then only dead wood or neatening should be done as Montanas bloom only on old wood.

Positive LC711 On May 30, 2005, LC711 from Des Plaines, IL wrote:

This plant is amazing. The scent is mild vanilla and the flowers are ABUNDANT (pink with tinges of white) in spring. I leave it alone and just enjoy it.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Elk Grove, California
Stanford, California
Willits, California
New Castle, Delaware
Chicago, Illinois
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Ewing, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Fallston, Maryland
Dracut, Massachusetts
Jackson, Missouri
Sparks, Nevada
Lake Grove, New York
Cincinnati, Ohio
Souderton, Pennsylvania
Warwick, Rhode Island
Summerville, South Carolina
Plano, Texas
Providence Forge, Virginia
Olympia, Washington
Seattle, Washington (2 reports)

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