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Help with Clematis pseudoalpina

Posted by jclepine CO_4 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 25, 10 at 14:10

Hi. I hate to double-post but I've not received a response in my local forum, so here goes...

This is my original post(also linked below):

Can I grow this? I've noticed that I see wild clematis on my hikes above my neighborhood and am thinking of giving it a try.

My main questions are:

Is this something that will do well in my yard? I'm at 8250 elevation and usually see this up higher, starting at around 8500. I can put it in sun or shade or a little of both. I can plant it at the base of a ponderosa pine if that will make it happier but it would be an almost entirely shady area.

Can it grow in a normal flower bed or should I stick it where the soil has not been amended? I do amend my soil with compost but there is a ton of yard that I don't bother with. It is just too much work. So, I have tons of rocky 'local' dirt that I can plant in.

And, for those out there who know their taxonomy, I'm having trouble getting the name right. Is it Clematis pseudoalpina or Clematis columbiana?

Thanks for any input!


The background, since not all of you live in my neck of the woods, is as follows.

I live in Colorado at 8250 elevation in a pine and aspen forest with lots of rocky dirt. Not as much clay as the lower and surrounding areas. We have different weather, depending on the year. It usually does nt go below -20F. It can be either hot and dry with strong winds or cool and damp due to rains. We have strong winds-80-100mph, every year.

When hiking just above town, at about 8500 feet, I see little clematis of unknown name. I assume they are 'Rocky Mountain Clematis' but am not sure of the binomial name.

I'd like to grow this in my yard but am not sure if it would be happy here. I'm very close to where it grows as a native but haven't seen it quite as low as my yard. Although I'd love to have it in my flower beds, I understand it might not be happy in soil and compost and might prefer the rest of my yard which is rocky and dry.

I'd love to know if anyone has an idea of how best to grow this.

thank you!!


Here is a link that might be useful: Link to original post in Rocky Mountain Gardening forum

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help with Clematis pseudoalpina

why not try it? Many plants can be grown outside of their native range. For instance, almost all of the viorna group of Clematis native to the southeastern US can be grown in gardens as far north as New Hampshire and Canada.

I would look for the conditions where they grow nearest to you and try to mimic that.

The proper name is Clematis columbiana var. columbiana.

Here is a link that might be useful: correct nomenclature

RE: Help with Clematis pseudoalpina

Thank you for your input!! I was thinking I should just give it a go. And, since most of my "soil" is similar to the stuff I see it growing in in the wild, I think I'll just try it in the un-amended soil. It looks happy where it is, in the shade, so I'll tuck it not far from the pines with the shade and see how that goes.

I thought that could be the correct name but wasn't really sure. Now maybe I can find some seeds or a plant!



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