The last Clematis to bloom in my garden is the Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora )                                                                  

I love this clematis. If I did not, it would be banished  from my garden. It is a thug. But so beautiful, so fragrant, and  my honeybees are all over it.


 When I lived in Massachusetts I planted it against the house. It climbed to the second story and found its way into my studio window and bloomed inside.


But in Georgia it is another matter. The seeds are all viable and if left to their own devices  will germinate and take over the garden. In order to avoid this, it is cut to the ground immediately after the bloom. Too bad because the seedheads are spectacular, however I dare not let it go to seed. The one year it was neglected  over 30 volunteer clematis had to be dug up the following spring. Of course this does not apply to gardeners in colder climates.


Strong and vigorous it can exceed 30 feet. In the above photos it has smothered a Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans).

Known alternately as Clematis paniculata then  Clematis maximowicziana, it is aptly named ‘Sweet Autumn Clematis’. For me this is one of the first plants to signal the end of summer.

© All photos & text


14 thoughts on “THE LAST CLEMATIS

  1. Sandra – I am torn every time I see this Clematis! Maybe it’s not an issue here in Illinois, and I fret for nothing? It is SO beautiful, but even in gardens/nurseries here I’ve seen it get incredibly huge.

    Invasive plants intimidate me – so I just avoid them. I almost ripped out my Ajuga when it went nuts this spring – but it tempered back as the summer went on. I attribute this intimidation to an experience long ago, when a friend gave me a silver-green plant (she called it “Spanish”-something?) that was so striking. The next year it not only tripled in size but there were dozens of shoots coming up in the grass!?! I yanked it out and paid more attention when I accepted ‘free’ plants.

    Your thoughts?

  2. wow, that is gorgeous. but thanks for the warning, my garden needs another thug like a hole in the head. it’s hot out and i have a glass of iced tea and i’m going to start reading all of your posts.

    thanks for letting me know i had inspired you. i bow to your strength.



  3. Anything – – ! that says summer is coming to an end here in GA has got to have something good about it!!!
    Thanks, Sandra….

  4. Dear Sandra, What a truly wonderful clematis. And why do I not grow it? Simple, until now I had not come across it. I shall certainly seek it out for it would fit so well into my London garden where, with a few exceptions of plants in containers or pots within the Alpine House, the overall scheme is of green and white. It looks so good with you, helping to create that rather romantic, overblown look which is, in my view, so desirable in a garden.

    Incidentally, I was interested to see your quotation from David Hicks about whom I posted in March [Miss Otis Regrets…[post 22].

    • Catherine,
      This clematis is in the evergreen group but the foliage is nothing like C. armandii. It originates in China, Taiwan & Japan.
      It doesn need a hot sunny position.
      Thanks for visiting.

  5. Pingback: Sweet Autumn Clematis Signals the End of Summer « Bluestone Garden Blog

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