Until recently, using clematis as cut flowers was not taken very seriously. Partly, this was because the twining leaf stems create a tangle of growth making it difficult to cut the stems easily.
Things began to change in about 1990 with the arrival of ‘Arabella’, a vigorous, non-twining, long-flowering hybrid between a climbing large-flowered type and a herbaceous species that lasted well when cut. Now we have three new clematis varieties specifically for growing as cut flowers but also for garden display.
The Amazing Series comprises three varieties Amazing London (‘Zoeastri’), Amazing Oslo (‘Zo11108’) and Amazing Rome (‘Zo08213’) all of which produce long straight stems ideal for cutting with a very long life in the vase once cut.
Amazing London, also known - as a garden plant (rather than a cut flower) - as East River, has 8-10cm, striking star-shaped, boldly veined, slightly waved flowers usually with six petals in pale lavender purple and with creamy yellow stamens (see photo, top).
Amazing Oslo has smaller, 5-7cm flowers with four to six reflexed petals in deep violet blue and with a central boss of white stamens (see photo, middle).
Amazing Rome has four broader purple petals with dark veins and long slightly twisted tips making a flowers 5-7cm across (see photo, bottom).
Each flowering stem reaches 40-50cm in length and carries five or six flowers. Flowering starts in June and continues until September, although the main flushes are early and late.
The raisers recommend stripping off any leaves that will be in water once the stems are arranged and using Chrysal Clear Cut Universal Food, pointing out that other flower foods can have a negative effect on clematis.
Pruning is simple, cut back hard to about 15cm, in early spring. Be sure to provide each plant with a stout post to which it can be tied as growth develops.
These three clematis were developed in The Netherlands by J. van Zoest B.V., one of the world’s leading clematis breeders. Look out for more in this series, including Amazing Geneva ('Zo06173') and Amazing Toronto ('Zomoa'), which are on the way.
You can order Clematis Amazing London from Suttons and as Clematis East River from Taylor’s Clematis.
You can also order a collection of all three from Suttons.
*Please note that the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS