Flower Friday – Clematis texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty’

I have three Clematis in my garden: a rambling C. x durandii, which has just started to bloom, the C. viticella ‘Etoile Violette,’ which usually starts blooming around July 1st, and this C. texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty.’ In my experience, this last one doesn’t start to bloom until around the second week of July, but for some reason, this year it’s behaving oddly. It’s already blooming profusely, although only near the bottom of the vine. And profusely is the operative word – never before have I seen so many blooms at once on this vine. I’m not complaining! It’s gorgeous! The strange behaviour may be some sort of survival instinct – I had to hack away at its roots in April when I replaced the tutoir it grows on.

All these flowers are less than two feet from the ground. The vine itself will grow to about 10 feet by the end of the summer.

I love this Clematis because it has such a true red flower – the inside being a slightly deeper shade than the outside. A probable descendant of Clematis viticella and Jackmanii strains plus Clematis texensis, it was introduced to the world by the French hybridizer Francisque Morel. “‘Gravetye Beauty’ was given to William Robinson in 1914, who named it after his British manor home,” according to the catalog of Digging Dog Clematis Nursery in California.

4 Comments

  1. As it happens, I posted today about our purple leatherflower (Clematis pitcheri), which is a close relative to C. texensis, the scarlet leatherflower which is aTexas endemic limited to the Edwards Plateau. I’ve seen the scarlet leatherflower only rarely: perhaps two or three times, because of its limited range. These are pretty, but to my eye they can’t compare to our native. Of course, you don’t have a chance of growing the native plant, so these are wonderful compensation!

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