Clematis, Early Large-flowered Clematis 'Elsa Spaeth'


Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Clematis (KLEM-uh-tiss) (Info)
Cultivar: Elsa Spaeth
Additional cultivar information:(aka Blue Boy, Elsa Spth, Xerxes)
Hybridized by Spath
Registered or introduced: 1891
» View all varieties of Clematis


Early Large-flowered


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

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:

No fragrance

Bloom Shape:


Bloom Diameter:

Large - 5 to 8 inches (12 to 20 cm)

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Late Fall/Early Winter

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Pruning Groups:

Group 2 - Repeat bloomers; prune immediately after flowering

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

By simple layering

By serpentine layering

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


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

Clifton, Colorado

Baton Rouge, Louisiana(2 reports)

Kensington, Maryland

Southold, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Newark, Ohio

Rapid City, South Dakota

Penhook, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 7, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Blackened crispy leaves are often due to a common fungal disease called clematis wilt. Large-flowered clematis are more prone to clematis wilt than the species and small-flowered hybrids.

Clematis and tomatoes are two exceptions to the usual rule, and are best planted 6 inches deeper than the soil level in the pot. This protects the stem bases from mechanical damage, and helps prevent clematis wilt, whose fungus enters where there's damage. It also helps keep the roots cool.

Many small-flowered hybrids are spectacular in flower, and long-blooming. I consider them indispensable, especially th... read more


On Jun 26, 2008, linjasar from Upper Saint Clair, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant just really kicked in after about three years. It bloomed so little last year that I could not remember which clematis it was. It has bloomed for weeks this year. I love the color and size of the flowers!


On May 9, 2006, kdestiny from Shickshinny, PA wrote:

I have an "Elsa Spath" clematis which I had outside last season and brought in for the winter. I love it! I had blooms throughout the winter and since I put it back out side two weeks ago it has grown almost 4 feet! It seems tolerant of drought as well. It gets beautiful 2-3" purple blooms and will flower many times during the growing season.


On Jan 3, 2005, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Awarded RHS Award of Garden Merit.


On Jun 5, 2003, Petsitterbarb from Claremore, OK wrote:

I've found this plant to be perfectly lovely! I love the softer color of purple, and I even have one that blooms in mostly shade conditions, although it's new this year. I guess "time will tell" as to future years!
I adore clematis in general, and have LOTS of 'em! The neighbors love it, too!


On Jun 4, 2003, sunyluvsma wrote:

Lovely vine. big purple flowers. plant in full sun.


On May 24, 2003, Nookie wrote:

I have tried to grow the clematis for 5 years, and have no success. I've tried different areas in my yard, and no success. My soil is black with quite a bit of clay, and acidic. Is this my problem? Please someone answer, as I would love to grow one. The last one I tried lasted 2 years, and bloomed beautifully, but last winter our frost line went down 97 inches. So I suppose that could be a factor too. I live in the U.P. of Michigan, and it's very cold here in winter.