Tube clematis is a deciduous sub-shrub and a member of the buttercup family, Ranuncluaceae, that also includes anemone, delphinium, and columbine.  Native to China and Korea, it grows 1-4′ tall and has weakly upright, downy stems  that form leafy mounds.  The palmately compound leaves   have three broadly ovate, coarsely toothed leaflets 3-6″ long.  The starry  1″ flowers are tubular, fragrant, and have four  recurved light blue sepals.  They appear in clusters of 6-12 in the upper leaf axils at the tips of the stems in mid- late summer and give way to seeds with feathery plumes. The roots must be kept cool so planting with other plants that can provide shade for the roots is desirable.  Tube clematis is an attractive companion for roses and useful in informal gardens.  The genus name, Clematis, comes from the Greek word klematis meaning climbing plant.  The specific epithet, heracleifolia, comes from the Greek word herakleia, refering to Hercules and the genus name for cow parsnip, and the Latin word folia, meaning leaf.  

Type: Deciduous sub-shrub

Bloom: Starry  1″  tubular, fragrant flowers with 4 recurved light blue sepals, in the upper leaf axils at the tips of the stems in mid- late summer

Size: 1-4′ H x  2-4′ W

Light:Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Fertile, moderately moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Care:  Feed monthly during the growing season if necessary; cut  to the ground in autumn or before growth starts in the spring.

Pests and Diseases: Aphids, caterpillars, earwigs,  clematis slime flux

Propagation: Terminal cuttings in spring and summer, seed

Companion Plants:Roses and various shrubs

Outstanding Selections:

‘Cote D’Azur (lighter blue flowers)

‘Crepusclue (lavender blue flowers; 4-5’ tall)

‘Robert Brydon’ (pale blue flowers, 2′ tall)

var. davidiana(wider flowers with less reflexed violet blue sepals; more upright and taller that species)

‘Wyevale Blue (darker blue flowers)


Photo Credit: Salicyna, Wikimedia


By Karen