Monday, September 19, 2011

Amber Lanterns & Fiery Sprays: Clematis and Cuphea

Rare Clematis tibetana, with its delicate amber lantern-like flowers, scrambles up the rather brittle stalks of Cuphea ignea in Alice's Garden. The silky seedheads are shown below!

Hummingbirds adore the fiery blooms of C. ignea, a tender perennial sub-shrub that thrives in my Northern California garden. I've grown various Cuphea species and cultivars, but C. ignea has proven to be the most vigorous of all, blooming for months on end except in the coldest weather. If you garden in a colder climate, I recommend growing C. ignea as an annual: it's a great selection for a wildlife habitat.

As my garden has matured, plants such as this Cuphea deserve pride of place in the garden's beds the borders, having proved themselves worthy of repetition in the garden design.

Clematis tibetana, a late-bloomer is only now putting on a show. It boasts lovely blue-green ferny foliage that's an asset throughout the season. And I love the fluffy seedheads that follow.
Of course the plant's tendrils have made it famous!
In a good year, a new plant will pop up in an unexpected spot, even as the 'mother' plant vanishes.


  1. I bet the hummingbirds do like the long blooms on C. ignea. I have hummingbirds visit the agastache, cypress vine, and penta.

  2. Hi SB,
    I love Agastache, too, but never have luck with it!

  3. I think you must be a very skilled and green fingered gardener. I just love that unusual flower, never seen that before. A late bloomer indeed, like myself:~)

  4. Hi Alice, that is a rare and especially delicate clematis, and a perfect combination scrambling around in the cupheas. Every time I look at your website it is more comprehensive and impressive - the glaring omission is Australia - when are you coming over to see us? cheers, catmint