'Daniel Deronda' Deciduous Clematis
"The day is cold, & dark, & dreary;
It rains, & the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark & dreary."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Large to eight-inch single-flowered with occasional double-flowers adorn 'Daniel Deronda,' a Clematis hybrid developed by the Victorian clematis breeder Charles Noble in the early 1880s.
Noble took the European C. integrifolia & pollinated it with a small North American species, C. crispa. 'Daniel Deronda' is sometimes listed as of the "Patens" group of hybrids derived from Japan's C. patens, crossed with the Mediterranean species C. cirrhosa, but I don't know the basis of this alternative lineage, which seems wrong.
'Daniel Deronda' has two distinct bloom periods, first in May & June, & again in August & September, as when selecting cultivars I was after those with two bloom periods.
The photo above is from late May (2001). The second photo is from August. The colors were more vibrant on the rebloom, but probably only because it & the rose it clings to got a lot of fertilizer.
The seed heads are fluffy & pleasing, extending its long decorative period. It vines to only about eight feet, so is not the most vigorous.
Ours was planted at the foot of a nameless rosebush we inherited & which we call our Porch Rose because it's near the front porch. The large red rose blooms mixing amidst big blue starfish were quite thrilling in both June & August, the rose blooming throughout.
Unfortunately, in winter 2002/3, while cleaning up fallen rose petals & other garden rubble, I accidentally raked the died-back clematis stems & ripped it off flush to the ground. It wasa terrible & clumsy mistake to have made, but I never thought it meant 'Daniel Deronda' couldn't grow back from its roots. But the following spring there was no sign of it.
A year later I replaced the accidentally destroyed clematis with a pink 'Nelly Moser' which has even larger blooms than 'Daniel Deronda.'
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