Rare clematis flowers in heatwaveHimalayan Clematis zemuensis blooms at Kew

26 July 2006

 

gard clematis (146 x any)

The scorching hot weather is thought to be behind the first flowering in more than 25 years of a plant most botanists didn't even know was in the UK.

The Clematis zemuensis is in bloom on the wall of the Elizabethan mansion Wakehurst Place - Kew's country garden in West Sussex.

Native to Bhutan in the Himalayas, the plant was grown from seed planted back in 1971 but it hasn't flowered since 1979.

Experts at Wakehurst think the flowers’ appearance now may have been triggered by the prolonged hot weather.

Delicate flowers

A spokesman said:‘It could be that conditions here now are as they would be in the Himalayas where this plant comes from. And the dry winters and incredibly hot summers are causing this climbing plant to produce the delicate, white flowers.’

This is likely to be the only example of a Clematis zemuensis growing in Britain as none are recorded elsewhere by the British Clematis Society.