March Clematis of the Month: Clematis macropetala ‘Maidenwell Hall’


Finally, finally in late March I got my first clematis blossoms of the season!  Whooo hooo!  Four clematis alpinas and macropetalas in my garden have opened their beautiful blooms!  Clematis macropetala Maidenwell Hall gets the prize for March this year because this poor young plant got such a shaky start.   While visiting a nursery north of Seattle in the Skagit Valley in the heat of August, my friends and I found a 90% off table.  Lo and behold, there was a clematis there looking hot, dusty, and bedraggled.  A friend spotted C. Maidenwell Hall first, but she kindly allowed me to purchase the plant.  The plant obviously appreciated coming to a caring home, because it has most definitely perked up.  It’s off to such a good start that I will be able to give my friend some cuttings!  Here’s another shot taken in warm early morning light, which drew out the more purple tones.


Clematis alpinas and macropetalas (also called alpine clematis) are among the first of the clematis clan to bloom in the spring.  Their dainty bells, dangling among the delicate serrated leaves, signal the beginning of the long and continuous slide show of clematis blossoms that lasts into the winter.  Alpine clematis particularly enjoy growing in deciduous shade where they can soak up the warmth on sunny spring days, but later be sheltered from hot summer sun by the tree’s leaves.  These clematis, which grow to about 12-15′ or more, come in blues, purples, lavenders, pinks, and whites and are said to be hardy to Zone 3.  They rarely need pruning (unlike their more unruly late-spring and summer-blooming cousins).  The difference between Clematis alpina and Clematis macropetala is that the alpinas usually have only four tepals, or petals, while the macropetalas are double or semi-double.  Because of much cross-hybridizing, though, sometimes the distinction is a bit hazy.

Below are photos of the other three alpinas and macropetalas blooming in my garden.  Two more, Clematis alpina Willy and Clematis macropetala Cecile, are a bit shy to bloom so far this year.

Here’s Clematis alpina Blue Dancer (a former winner of Clematis of the Month).  It sports particularly long tepals.

Next up, Clematis macropetala Markham’s Pink, one of the most beautiful pink ones.

And finally we have Clematis macropetala Pauline, with rich blue and purple colors.


  1. Kathy Dunn said,

    May 10, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Hi, Laura,

    I finally made it to the Rogerson Collection for the first time on May 6th. What a beautiful place! I have relatives who live close to there, but I normally only visit them at Christmas. This year the opera brought me to Portland in May. It happened to be a selling day so I got Linda’s new book and couldn’t get away without 4 plants: C. ‘Bells of Emei Shan’, C. crispa, C. ‘Niobe’ and C. ‘Ville de Lyon’. Up until then, I was being so good, with only 1 new clem this year, C. ‘Lord Herschell’ from Brushwood. I think I am now past 60 surviving clems in my little lot.

    Linda was about the grounds so she signed her book for me, I am finding it full of great advice and pictures.

    Thanks so much for all your great blog postings and pictures. I am jealous of your C. recta ‘Purpurea’, mine fizzled, I expect it was too crowed, maybe something will sprout from that spot this year but so far, nothing.

    By the way, I think that Atragene is called “Maidwell Hall”, I double checked in CoW……


    • May 11, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Hi, Kathy,

      Yes, the Rogerson Clematis Collection display at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego is wonderful!! And it gets better every year. I’m so glad you went and even bought more clems.

      Readers: You can find more information about the display garden, including exact location, at the Rogerson Collection Website (

      Clematis Garden Tour

      The Rogerson Clematis Collection puts on a fabulous Clematis Garden Tour every year on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend (May 28th this year). I go every year–this year’s lineup looks wonderful and includes the Rogerson Clematis Collection (where plants will be for sale!). Go if you can. More info about the tour:



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