Clematis atragene (Group)

These are a robust and early flowering clematis group that opens the clematis season each year ~ they are the first to flower. They can also thrive in shaded locations, which is why we have included one cultivar in our assortment: Clematis alpina / sibirica x macropetala "Blue Bird." Their lavender blue flowers open completely. For trellises that are 2 - 4 metres high. Currently not available. 

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This group consists mainly of Clematis alpina and Cematis macropetala.

Clematis alpina "Blue Bird," bred by Dr. Frank Leith Skinner / Canada 1967
Clematis alpina "Blue Bird," bred by Dr. Frank Leith Skinner / Canada 1967

To Thrive...

The location can be sunny to shaded, but not near hot south-facing walls. The soil should be fresh, humus-rich, with good drainage. Avoid heavy clay ('loamy') soils. Protection from wind and a shaded trunk base are optional for these clematis. Planting distance: 0.8 to 2.5 metres. >>>Price

Characteristics and Pruning

Petiole ('leaf tendril') climbers. The roots are very fine, so care should be taken when planting. The 'atragene' group are highly frost-resistant and relatively resistant to clematis wilt. Even dryness does not cause immediate damage. Medium vigour. Foliage (moderately dense) from April to October with fine leaves. Grows 2 - 4 metres high. 'Blue Bird' has lavender-blue semi-nodding flowers with 4 + 4 petals (see photo above), and the flower opens completely (and fades to steel-blue). Flower diameter 6-8 cm, flowering period April - May (blooms are frost-hardy), often with a second flowering in August or September. The satiny, fluffy seedheads are themselves ornamental and provide interest throughout the season. Prune (thin out) just after flowering, around late May (pruning method 1).

Climbing Aids for the Facade

Choose a fine-meshed wire rope trellis (25 - 35 cm grid). Vertical axes should dominate so that the trellis forms standing rectangles instead of squares. See the table at the bottom of the page for suitable trellis shapes and sizes. Our 5050 wire rope trellis is a good choice and can be supplemented with steel rods. Easy kits (basic and basic-s) are good fit; sometimes the mini or light designs may be sufficient; and a trellis in the medium range allows for optimal development.


Suitable Wire Rope Trellis?

Click on the image to see which designs are compatible as a climbing aid with clematis atragene.

Suitable wire rope systems for clematis atragene

Please click on the graphic illustrations for details!

  = suitable            = of limited suitability            = unsuitable