20 Different Types of Clematis Flowers

Discover the many different types of clematis flowers to find the most suitable type for your garden. Clematis growers and newbie gardeners can choose among attractive flowers with remarkable seedheads and tall vines.
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A bouquet of clematis flowers in an old copper pot.

Clematis flowers have 300 species and belong to the Ranunculaceae family. The name comes from the Greek word klematis which means vine but some species are grown as shrubs. Its common name “old man’s beard” refers to its long feathery seed heads.

These same leaves were once thought to cure leprosy aside from being food for caterpillars. The flexible and durable vines were also used to make wreaths. The stems of the clematis, on the other hand, were smoked by young boys as a past time.

Prune Group

Group 1

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The clematis that falls into pruning group 1 will generally grow into very large plants, given enough time and ample space. This means that careful pruning is important to help keep your clematis under control and to make sure that it looks great, although you do need to be careful when pruning your plant for a few reasons. All of the clematises that fall into pruning group 1 will bloom only on growth that is from the past year.

This means that if you accidentally over prune your clematis that you will not have many if any, flowers the next year. It is important to prune these plants, however, as you need to make sure that you can keep them in their space so they don’t take over your garden, or if you need to remove unsightly or dead foliage that is ruining the plants’ appearance.

Be careful when pruning clematis that falls into pruning group 1, as pruning too late in the season can cause you to accidentally cut off potential buds. Additionally, never prune in the spring before the plant has a chance to bloom or it will not be able to bloom. Only prune clematis from this pruning group immediately after they have flowered, or let them grow wild so that you don’t have to worry about accidentally removing buds.

Group 2

CLEMATIS 'DIAMANTINA'. Perennial. Plant. Vine.

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It is very normal to hear about clematis in pruning group 2 to be split into two different subgroups – group 2a and group 2b. The difference in these subgroups is when the plant will flower. Clematis from group 2a will generally bloom in the spring and may bloom again in the fall, while those in group 2b will bloom in the spring and then continue to bloom intermittently during the summer. Clematis that are in group 2b will also grow while they bloom, which means that during the blooming season the plant will bloom higher and higher.

It’s common for the flowers of both of these subgroups to be colored differently as the blooming season progresses and for them to be much smaller towards the end of the blooming season. All of the clematises that are in pruning group 2 will bud off of old wood, which means that they should only be pruned once during the year.

Make sure that you only prune deadwood during the spring once the leaf buds have begun to open so that you don’t accidentally lose your buds. Clematis that are in 2b can additionally bloom on new wood. If you want to increase the number of blooms that you will have later in the blooming season, then you can remove the seed heads from the early flowering immediately after the blooms have dropped the tepals.

Group 3

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Clematis in pruning group 3 bloom at different times during the year. Some are summer bloomers, while others are many later bloomers, but they all need to be pruned in the same way to ensure that they will continue to bloom the best that they can and add beauty to your yard. What sets these plants apart from those in pruning group 1 and group 2 is that the flowers will grow on new wood that is produced each year. This means that in the winter the plants need to be severely pruned back. Doing this when they are dormant will help to prevent a lot of damage or stress to the plant.

Gardeners need to make sure to prune this clematis back to about a foot tall. While this may seem like you are damaging the plant, by the time the clematis is ready to bloom in the summer, they will have reached their full height. When pruning, make sure to leave four buds on each stem of the plant to help it grow in the spring.

Also, remember that failing to prune clematis from this group will result in the plant becoming very leggy. These longer areas of growth will be incredibly woody and won’t have any blooms or foliage, making the plant unattractive and requiring, even more, pruning in the spring to repair the problem and ensure the plant to grow correctly.

The clematis that is in pruning group 3 traditionally has very large shaped flowers that are shaped like saucers. There is also some clematis that has smaller flowers in the shapes of stars, bells, tulips, and saucers.

Bloom Shape

Double Flowers

Double Flowers

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It can be a little difficult to find clematis that has double flowers. The blooms on these plants are going to be incredibly full and frilly, which many people find to be very attractive. Because double blooms are much easier to see and will have more visual weight to them than single blooms will, planting a clematis with double blooms is sure to make quite an impact, especially as the plant grows and continues to produce more and more blooms.

Star

Star

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When most people think of a typical clematis, they picture a plant that has a star-shaped bloom. These clematises come in many different colors and sizes, but the shape is going to be the same. The standard flower will have around seven petals and measure about six inches across, although there is some clematis that has much larger or much smaller blooms.

To add a little extra interest to your clematis, it is a good idea to look for a plant that is variegated or has a deep color, as otherwise, some people think that this typical clematis shape flower can be a little boring. With the right growth and pruning, however, a clematis that is covered with star-shaped flowers can be stunning and add a lot of beauty to your garden.

Bell

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The bell-shaped blooms on some clematis are incredibly sweet and pretty. While they won’t make a huge impact such as the way that larger blooms tend to do, they are stunning in their own right and are sure to attract attention when people see your new plant. Look for a clematis that has leaves in the shapes of bells if you want something that is a little bit different from the normal clematis that other homeowners in the area may have in their yard.

Saucer

2 Roots Clematis Viticella Venosa Violacea,


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If you want a clematis that is very stunning and will draw a lot of attention in your garden, then you may want to opt for one that has flowers shaped like saucers. These flowers are generally larger than normal, although it is possible to buy a clematis with smaller saucer flowers.

Since the flowers are so large and will make such a big impression on anyone who sees them, you do want to make sure that you are very careful when pruning this plant. Accidentally pruning too much of your clematis can cause the plant to have growing problems. This means that you won’t get the stunning show of flowers that you expected, which can be very disappointing for most people.

Tulip

Tulip

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Clematis that have tulip-shaped flowers are very dainty and attractive. The appearance of these flowers is like a mix between bell-shaped flowers and ones that are shaped like saucers, but they are generally much daintier and more fragile in appearance than either of these two types. Just like other types of clematis, you do need to be careful when pruning back these plants, as accidentally over pruning your clematis will result in not having very many blooms during the blooming season.

Bloom Size

Small

Small clematis flowers

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For a very dainty look in your garden, you will want to choose a clematis that has smaller than average blooms. Just because these blooms are small doesn’t mean that they won’t have quite the impact on everyone seeing them, as these plants typically are loaded with a lot of smaller flowers. This will create an incredible appearance and is sure to impress you and draw attention in your garden. Careful pruning will ensure that you do not lose any of the flower buds, which is important, as you will want your clematis to be loaded with blossoms in order to make an impression.

While this clematis certainly isn’t going to steal the show in your garden, it is a great plant to have, as the smaller blooms will juxtapose nicely with other, larger blooms in your space. When allowed to grow up the side of your home, clematis with smaller blooms creates a lovely living wall of flowers.

Regular

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Traditionally, flowers on clematis are going to be about five inches in diameter. These blooms are going to be large enough to draw a lot of attention and be quite striking, which is why it’s so easy to find plants that have blooms this size. Typically, when you buy a clematis at a local store, you will be purchasing a plant that has blooms in this size.

While the five-inch blooms that are the average for a regular clematis aren’t necessarily the biggest available, they are still very attractive. Clematis that have regularly sized blooms are going to be striking in your garden, although they won’t steal the show the way that a clematis with oversized booms will be able to. They are a great plant to have, as they are easily recognizable, easy to grow, and will boast a stunning display of flowers every year when you take care of them correctly.

If you want larger or smaller blossoms, then you will need to make an effort to find a different plant. It’s easy to find regular size blooms in a variety of colors and shades, although they are generally just saucer or star-shaped. Knowing the size and shape of the bloom that you want will make it a lot easier to narrow down your hunt for the perfect plant.

Oversized

Oversized clematis flowers


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If you want to make sure that you have a real showstopper in your garden, then it’s time to look for a clematis that has oversized blooms. These can be a lot harder to find than ones with regular blooms or even smaller blooms, but the reward makes the hunt worth it, as the larger the blooms are, the most striking that the plant will be when it is in full bloom.

In general, a clematis with blooms larger than five inches will be considered oversized or above average size. While this clematis may appear a little fussier than other types, they don’t require any other work or care. As long as they have enough water and are fertilized to compensate for poor soil, and as long as you are very careful when you prune them each year, they will reward you with stunning flowers throughout the blooming season.

Because of the high drama of these blooms, it’s a good idea to plant your clematis with oversized flowers in a place of honor in your garden. Because you want to make sure that everyone who comes to your home will see your plant, you need to consider putting it in a location where it will be easily seen from the road, your home, or anywhere else on your property. These stunning blooms are sure to make people pause and check out your garden, so this plant should be a source of pride for you.

Bloom Color

Single Color

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It’s very easy to find clematis that has blooms in only one color. If you want a single color in your garden that is sure to draw attention and become a focal point, then a single color bloom is sure to provide you with the high drama that you crave. These plants are generally very impressive, as the wall of single color blooms will draw attention and stand out.

Look for a clematis that has bloomed in a color that will either stand out from every other plant in your garden or will blend in with space. A color that is repeated throughout your space is a great way to make your garden appear more cohesive, which is very important if you have a particularly small garden and you want it to look planned and well designed. On the other hand, in a very large garden, a bright splash of color from your clematis may be just what you need to create a striking area.

Variegated

Variegated clematis flowers

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Variegated clematis blooms are incredibly pretty, and it seems like no two are alike. When you choose a variegated plant, you can enjoy how it will help to tie together the other colors in your garden. If you have not spent a lot of time making sure that the colors you have chosen for your other flowers in your garden work well together, then it’s time to consider a clematis with a variegated flower.

While some of these clematises will blend in with the rest of your flowers, depending on the colorful blooms that you choose and how impressive the variegation is, your clematis may stand out from all of the other plants in your garden. This type of bloom is a great option for anyone who may have trouble picking their favorite color.

Two Colors

Multi-colored clematis flowers

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Blooms that have two different colors or clematis plants that have two different color blooms on them are sure to attract a lot of attention when you have them planted in your garden. This is a wonderful way to add a lot of interest to your space without having to purchase more than one plant, which is great if you are on a budget and you are unable to afford two plants or simply don’t have the room in your garden for more than one clematis.

Because the blooms can be so striking, it’s a good idea to plant this clematis where it will get a lot of attention in your garden. You can rest easy knowing that you won’t ever get bored with the plant, as it is sure to remain attractive throughout the blooming season, and you will love the variety of color that it provides your space.

Pink

Pink clematis flowers

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Even though pink is a fairly common plant color for your garden, that doesn’t mean that you should pass up a clematis just because it is pink. There are many shades of pink clematis for you to choose from, from a very pale pink that makes a great neutral in your space to a deeper and more vibrant pink that is sure to stand out. No matter what you choose, the pink blooms against the dark green foliage are very attractive and will look great in any garden.

White


White clematis flowers

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White and green have always looked amazing together in a garden, and this clematis is no different. When you opt for a clematis with white blooms you will instantly create a classic look in your space. No matter if you want to opt for an all-white garden, which can be stunning, or if you simply want a bit of white to break up the bright colors of your other plants, a white clematis is sure to meet your needs. Choose one with large blooms for a striking look that will make the white pop even more.

Purple

Purple clematis flowers

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From light lavender to a deep, royal purple, you can easily find a purple clematis that will make you smile. Even though these blooms can vary widely in what color purple they are, they are all still very attractive. Purple is not a very common color in the garden, which makes a clematis a perfect plant to experiment when you want something a little different.

Yellow

Yellow clematis flowers

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There’s nothing like planting yellow blooms in your garden, as yellow flowers will brighten up your space and work so well with other colors. A yellow clematis will work wonderfully as the backdrop to the rest of your garden, or you can let your yellow clematis steal the show and plant it in a more noticeable location.

No matter if you choose buttery yellow blooms or ones that will shine like gold throughout the blooming season, you are sure to get a lot of enjoyment out of your yellow clematis. They look great when paired with any other flowers and can hold their own against dark or light blooms from other plants without being overwhelmed and seems to disappear into the background.

Blue

Blue clematis flowers

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Some people may argue that these blue blooms appear more purple than blue, but there is a definite distinction between blue and purple blooms on a clematis. Lighter blue blooms will draw your attention because it is so rare to find a flower that has blue blooms in the garden. Make sure to surround your blue clematis with other plants that have white blossoms if you want to make sure that the blue will really stand out and get the attention that it deserves. When planted near purple plants, these blooms will look less blue and will take on more of a purple hue, which is not what you want.

Red

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A true red clematis – not a deep pink masquerading as a red flower – is something very impressive in the garden. When you want a red clematis that will attract a lot of attention, pay special attention to the bloom itself and look for one that has white on the inside. This will create drama and make your red blooms stand out from the rest of your flowers. Red clematis looks especially impressive when close to other plants with lighter foliage, as it will make the red appear even deeper and more dramatic.







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