Clematis

"Peppermint" or 'Evipo005'
Miniature Double Clematis
aka Asian Virginbower
or Passionflower Clematis


"The hedge-rows wear a veil
Of glistening spider threads,
And in the trees along the brook
The clematis, like whiffs of smoke,
Its faded garland spreads."

-Sarah Orne Jewett
(1849-1909)

   

"What's that?" asked Granny Artemis, early in June.

"What's what?"

"That!"

I looked where she was pointing, & saw that a miniature-leafed vine had climbed five or six feet into the center of the Oyama Magnolia, & had starfish-shaped flowers too young for the petals to have quite yet opened flat.

"I never planted anything like that there," said I.

"Then it must be a self-seeded clematis."

Then it suddenly all flooded back into my memory. "Oh gosh! I know what it is, but I thought it was dead. That was that miniature clematis in the gift-pot which aren't supposed to be all that garden-hardy around here. I remember I planted it under the Oyama on the off-chance it would survive, & it appeared to have died almost immediately."

ClematisClematis florida cultivars have such mixed reports on their hardiness in Northwest gardens. The literature didn't make it sound particularly easy to keep alive for any length of time. I asked a local clematis fan in a garden e-group if she'd had luck with & she replied that she'd tried them on mulitple occasions & "Even coddled in a protected location they have consistantly not reappeared the following spring."

But there it was big & winding through the large shrub, on the brink of opening its petals.

This tiny double-clematis is sold under the Trademark name "Peppermint," which is more appealing than the registration designation 'Evipo005' & sometimes listed awkwardly as "PeppermintTM 'Evipo005'(N)."

They are typically sold in full flower in plastic gift-baskets with a climbing-ring, & are more likely available at grocery stores, drug stores, or hospital gift shops than in nurseries, & are purchased as house-warming presents or get-well gifts because they make such nice instant presentation.

Because they bloom as minatures they are suited to potted gifts. I suspect that one of the reasons a high percentage of gardeners have trouble getting them to perennialize is because they are greenhouse-prepared to sell in maximum bloom, with some expectation that most will be treated like discardable bouquets when the flowers are finished.

Sinced they are never sold already hardened-off for the open garden, their reported delicateness is not surprising. But a planting that does survive long enough to adjust to outdoor conditions will have gardeners providing the opposite experience that they are far hardier than commonly believed.

This vine is in any case charming as all get-out, the very opposite of enormous-flowered clematis, each flower being only about two or two & a half inches.

'Peppermint' is one of a series called the Evison/Poulsen "Garland'" collection, released in 2002, bred by Raymond J. Evison of the Guernsey Clematis Nursery, which Evison founded in the Channel Islands in 1985.

We happen to have another double-flowering clematis from Evison, called 'Josephine,' with behavior resembling the little 'Peppermint' except that 'Josephine' possesses enormous blooms.

The full heritage of 'Peppermint' was intentionally not revealed, but it is at heart C. florida var alba-plena, crossed with some other C. florida variety such as variant bicolor. The flowers begin as sharp-pointed six-legged white starfish, then the sharp petals open flat & look like proper clematis blooms but scaled down.

At first glance of its June flowers they look like singles, until one realizes the center of the flower is practically another whole flower made up of pointy staminoids so numerous the center is pompom-like. The main petals form first & the pompom becomes more noticeable as each bloom ages, until the original six petals wilt away leaving the increasingly fluffy pompom to display itself for some while alone.

It reblooms in September. The June & July flowering is white with little green tint, but the September rebloom leans much more greenish-white.

Because it can be delicate, many who have attempted it complain that like other C. florida varieties, it does not perennialize outside if a greenhouse. Others based on their individual experience are just as adament that it is not as difficult as often claimed.

As Granny Artemis & I half-accidentally discovered, it just might succeed despite the mixed reports. It is certainly worth attempting in a protected location in humusy soil, getting proper watering, it's root in plenty of shade, & in a location where it can climb up into bright sun.



   



[Garden Indexes: What's New]
[Shade Perennials] — [Ferns]
[Sun Perennials] — [ Sun-garden Herbs]
[Hardy Geraniums & Heucheras] — [Creepers & Vines]
[Monkshoods & Delphiniums]
[Bulbs & Corms] — [Jack-in-the-Pulpits]
[Evergreen Trees] — [Deciduous Trees]
[Rhododendrons, Azaleas, & Camellias]
[Evergreen Shrubs — [Deciduous Shrubs]
[Succulents] — [Miscellaneous]

[Species Index] — [GIFT SHOP ]
[Write to Paghat] — [Home]

   

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl