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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - October 31, 2013

From: Junction, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Vines
Title: Germination of Purple Clematis from Junction TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have some Purple Leather Vine seeds I want to share and want help learning to germinate. Can anyone there help me find interested recipients?

ANSWER:

We are sorry, we are not a forum nor do we sponsor any user-to-user contacts. In fact, we specifically remove any address or name information from questions out of regard for privacy.

However, we can look for some propagation information on Clematis pitcheri (Purple clematis), which is in our Native Plant Database. In fact, if you follow that plant link to our webpage on this plant, you will find these propagation instructions:

"Propagation

Description: Plant seed outdoors in the fall or store and stratify before planting. Single, internodal, softwood cuttings taken in summer can be rooted. Clematis spp. are also propagated by late summer layerings.
Seed Collection: Gather seeds when they are no longer green but before the cluster of achenes completely dries and drops the seeds to the ground. Remain viable up to two years without refrigeration.
Seed Treatment: Moist stratify at 41 degrees for 60-90 days. Can take a long time to germinate.
Commercially Avail: yes"

The third picture (below) from our Image Gallery shows the fruit, or seeds, of this plant. As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile map, this plant does grow natively in the vicinity of Kimble County, TX, but you should read these growing conditions, also from the webpage, to make sure you have the correct amount of sunshine and proper soils.

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Thick, succulent, urn-shaped petals (which are really sepals) give purple leatherflower its name. The seeds have fluffy tails radiating out like a starburst. Stems of purple leatherflower are brittle and should be supported or tied to a trellis. The interesting flowers of Clematis pitcheri are long lasting. The plant is fairly heat and drought-tolerant. It dies to the ground in fall."

If you are in doubt about stratification, here is an article on that subject from Wildones.org. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Purple leatherflower
Clematis pitcheri

Purple leatherflower
Clematis pitcheri

Purple leatherflower
Clematis pitcheri

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