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Virgin's Bower clematis questions???

Posted by johnspader tennessee (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 29, 11 at 3:52

A few questions before I decide to go with this one on my wall by my deck.

1. I can't seem to get a consistent answer on if clematis virginiana is unscented or not? I'm hoping for unscented (or close to it) because scented flowers will only give my wife headaches.

2. I have a fully latticed wall 14' wide and 16' tall. from the looks of it, this vine should cover it pretty well. but what spread should I plant the seeds in order to make a nice covering? yet see through to the wall a little bit?

3. The ground under the edge of the deck has some dirt, but there are lots of pebbled rocks (marble sized) consuming a lot of the ground. Will this be an issue for healthy growth for this vine?

4. Lastly, and the most important. I have 2 kids (5yrs and 1yr old). the wall I would grow this on is about a foot away from the deck but definitely would be in arms reach. if clematis virginiana is in fact poisonous,...IS THIS VINE A DANGEROUS CHOICE AROUND CHILDREN?

thank you so much y'all, and if anyone has a better vine suggestion for me, I'm looking for a vine with white flowers (preferably), has minimal scent, and does well in shade.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Virgin's Bower clematis questions???

It IS scented but how strongly is variable.....often scent is encouraged or discouraged by siting and with other types of clem, scent seems to be highly determinant on provenance. If the mother plant the seeds or cuttings were derived from is highly scented, the offspring will generally be so as well. Sun tends to amplify scent, so a shadier location may not produce as strong a fragrance.

Are you planting this from seed? If so, I'm not sure I'd direct sow. This is a big, vigorous native vine and you only need one :-) Maybe start the seeds in small seed starting containers, then pick the healthiest and most robust to plant out.

Parts of many clematis are considered toxic, mostly the foliage (contains an alkaloid, clematine) but there is nothing about the plant that would attract kids to consume it - no berries or interesting looking pods - so I would not be overly concerned. FWIW, the vast majority of common garden plants are toxic to some degree or another so it is a very good idea to train small children early on NOT to put any plant parts in their mouths unless approved by mom and dad!!

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