The early summer blooming group (group 2) of the clematis family (Clematis) dishes up plate-sized flowers in a range of colors and a variety of forms -- single, semi-double and fully double. These climbing vines rewarded growers with a double-dose of flowers. The first buds form in spring on old growth. In the summer, a second crop blooms on spring and summer stems. The flowers last for days, and new flowers form throughout the summer.
Clematis in group 3 are late bloomers. They form flowers on new growth in summer and keep blooming throughout the fall. Some late-blooming varieties have flat, star shapes like the earlier bloomers, but others produce flowers that look very different. Rather than facing up to the sun, group 3 clematis may form tubular flowers, columns of bells or down-turned, nodding flowers with hood-like petals.
Clematis is a hardy perennial that thrives in zones 3-9. It likes plenty of sun but prefers to have its roots in a shady spot. Some varieties reach 10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters) in length. They need pruning in early spring, before new growth starts.
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