Clematis Mystery

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Yesterday I was walking out to my car when this caught my eye from some distance away. Curious, I went over for a closer look. Basically, it doesn't resemble either the clematis that is normally in that area or, for that matter, any clematis in my records or even anything I can recall seeing anywhere. I'm scratching my head. At the very least it's my mystery clem.

Any ideas? Every seen one like this? Any idea what it's name might be? Could it be a weird sport of the 'normal' clematis that should be there?

I'm wondering if this could be some kind of anomaly or sport, perhaps caused by neglect. Since my injury several years ago, I've been unable to get around w/o pain, and my garden has suffered serious neglect as a result.( Notice that the leaves of the rose - crystal fairy, smallish landscape rose - are yellow, indicating a nutrient deficiency or ph problem.) Honestly, I'm hoping it is NOT an anomaly, because I really like this new mystery clematis - whatever it is.

Pics 1 - 3 show the new mystery clematis that just showed up from out of the blue. The last pic shows the clematis that is known to be planted in that same location, although it's quite possible I may have planted more than one variety in the same area (some 5 or so years ago when I did the planting). Pic 4, the clematis that normally lives in that area, was taken in spring 2012. After Pic 4 was taken, my landscaper cut the rose back almost to the ground, accidentally cutting the clematis down with it. That's why the 'usual' clematis (shown in Pic 4) is AWOL. Then this new, mystery clem showed up. I don't know if it's a weird sport of the clematis that usually lives there or what?

Curious to hear your thoughts.

Thumbnail by DreamOfSpring Thumbnail by DreamOfSpring Thumbnail by DreamOfSpring Thumbnail by DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Really? No one has any thoughts on this rather odd looking, pointy shaped, clematis?

Not asking for an ID (although I would love one). Just curious if it looks unusual to you, also? I've been out of gardening a few years now due to injury, but previously had a good idea of the varieties out there. I don't recall seeing one like this. Am I wrong? If it looks fairly common to you, please let me know. I'm just curious. I don't recognize it either from clematis sites or from my own records of purchases and of my garden.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The shape of the bud reminds me of texensis but I don't know the cultivar. Check out the buds on your last photo: they are not the same as the buds on the first three clem's.

I doubt that it's a sport of photo #4.

It is very beautiful.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Hi pirl,

Thank you very much for your thoughts on this. I like it, perhaps because it looks unusual to me, plus I like 'striped' varieties. I also thought the buds looked unusual. They reminded me of the buds of certain small-flowered, bell-shaped varieties, the names of which allude me now. I'll have to look up texensis. I'm curious if that may be the type I had in mind based on the buds. I'll get back to you on that after I check it out.

I'm glad to hear that you don't think it's a sport or badly abused version of #4. I would prefer to think that it is something I planted years ago and forgot to record.

Thanks again for your comments. BTW, you have many gorgeous clematis, and your photos are awesome.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Among many others, both Duchess of Albany and Princess Diana are in the texensis category. Here's a photo of DoA so you can see the pointed blooms and the buds.

Thank you for your kind words. I do love my clematises.

Thumbnail by pirl
Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)


I think you may have just solved this mystery. I never purchased Princess Diana, although that was one of the ones I thought of when looking at the buds on my plant. It was on my list around the time that I stopped buying, planting, and gardening due to injury, so I never got it. However, I did purchase Duchess of Albany, a very tiny plant in a 3" pot in 2006, one of my last purchases before I was forced to stop due to injury.

My records indicate that I planted DoA in a different location, but I must have made a mistake. DoA never showed up in the location where I thought I had put it. This is almost certainly my missing DoA. At the point when I received those last plants I was already heavily medicated trying to find a way to continue gardening despite the intense pain. I must have either changed my mind about where to put the plant, perhaps after recording the location in my journal, or maybe got the plants mixed up so that they ended up in the wrong locations. Whatever happened, I'm now satisfied that this IS my DoA.

Pirl, I can't thank you enough for helping me solve this mystery! When I started this thread, I really didn't expect to learn the ID of the mystery plant. I was just curious whether it looked as unusual to others as to me and if it might be a sport of #4. Now I not only know that it isn't all that unusual, after all (I've been out of the clematis/gardening business for several years, so that makes sense), and, even better, I have its ID. Yay!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

As for my comments RE your clematis and your photos, you are very welcome, although I can't really take credit for those compliments. You get the credit for that. I was just speaking the truth. :-)

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Oh, and don't worry. While I'm now totally convinced that the mystery clematis is Duchess of Albany which I purchased in 2006, I don't plan to use this ID to add pics of it to PlantFiles. I restrict my PlantFiles additions to only those plants which have a marker. Even that may not be foolproof, since venders may mislabel plants and/or ship the wrong ones, but I figure it greatly increases my chances of getting it right. So, for me, no marker, no PlantFiles entry.

Also, I don't sell plants or even trade at this time, as I just don't have the time/ability. So while I'm convinced this ID is correct, I plan to use it only for my own purposes, just the mere satisfaction of knowing what is planted where, of having a name for my little darlings, and of being able to improve my journal records and keep track of things. I will add a caveat in my journal to indicate the ID is not 100%, so if I ever do give anyone else a piece of it, I will know to tell them I'm not 100% certain.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'm so happy it all worked out so well, Dream! I hope you're feeling much better these days.

I just cropped this shot of DoA to show you a closer look at the actual flower. Since you know you had it and know you planted it somewhere, my bet is that you've got the ID now.

It does root easily by layering so give it a try.

Thumbnail by pirl
Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thanks, pirl,

I really do feel sure that it's DoA. When I saw your pic and the name DoA, which I instantly recalled as one I had planted but never found again, I knew instantly that was it. I checked my journal just to be sure, but I knew it already by that time.

I am feeling much better now, not perfect, but much better due to the combination of time and medication. Over the past year I've been able to get around much better. I've been getting a LOT done in the house, as it had also gone w/o adequate attention during the bad years. As soon as I get caught up inside, I'm planning to head back outside to do some gardening. If things continue on the present path, I think I will be able to get out there by spring 2013, maybe sooner. I hope to start with a few edibles to offset the rising prices at the grocery store - and put better quality foods on the table. Then I'm going to work on much needed garden maintenance: pruning, feeding, weeding, etc until I get the garden back in good shape. I'm excited just thinking/talking about it.

Quite a few gorgeous clematis have come out since I stopped gardening. I look forward to adding some of them to my garden, but only after I get caught up on maintenance of what i have.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Glad to hear you're feeling better. Just read a quote I found so interesting. Everyone looks for the magic pill to restore health and well being and the quote was: The magic pill is motion. It works fine as long as one doesn't have a broken leg, sprained ankle or a bad back!

Since you're in SC I'd guess summer is a great time to stay indoors and get things done. That certainly improves your frame of mind. Last year during a prolonged heat spell we did over a bathroom. You can gradually break yourself in and get back to gardening when the weather cools down a bit. Even here it's too hot and too humid for me to do much unless it's very early or after dinner.

I have a lot of plants that I've had for over a year that have to get planted but I'm taking baby steps. Stressing over it or wearing myself out in the heat just won't get it done right. When it's all done I think I'll be looking for more clematises as well.

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