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Perennials: Clematis x jouiniana 'Praecox'

Botanical name: Clematis x jouiniana 'Praecox'

Common name: ground cover clematis

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Photo credit: Siegelgirl
Perennials: Clematis x jouiniana 'Praecox'
Perennials: Clematis x jouiniana 'Praecox'
Perennials: Clematis x jouiniana 'Praecox'
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Brooklyn, Ny

at a glance

Soil: dry, neutral, loam
Zones: 4a thru 9b

fall interest, drought tolerant

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description for "Perennials: Clematis x jouiniana 'Praecox'"

This late flowering award winner is the best ground cover clematis out there. Gorgeous multitudes of delicate tubular, recurved, 3/4" blue-lilac and white flowers cover the plant from July until frost. A fast grower, stems quickly create a mat of dark green foliage, providing great weed control and protecting the soil. It is highly versatile - it can be used in a large or small bed, street side border, or container. Although it is non-vining, it can be trained to grow up a trellis or screening fence. Clematis 'Praecox' is hardy to zone 4, is very drought tolerant once established, and will be happy in sun or shade. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil. In 1995, the Royal Horticultural Society gave this plant the prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in recognition of its outstanding excellence. Before growth begins in early spring, pruning should be done to give the plant a fresh start. Simply cut back the stems to a pair of strong buds 6-8in (15-20cm) above ground level. Once the plant is growing vigorously, it can be trimmed back as needed to prevent it from overtaking any nearby shrubs or compact plants.


Clematis x jouiniana was bred in 1900 by a French gardener named Simon-Louis Frere as a hybrid between Clematis tubulosa (syn. Clematis davidiana) and Clematis vitalba. From C. tubulosa it inherited its big dark green leaves, its non-clinging, perennial habit, and the structure of its hyacinth-like flower. C. vitalba gave it its robustness, hardiness and ease of culture. In 1959 a selected seedling of this hybrid was described and named 'Praecox'. Don't be fooled by the name, however; while 'Praecox' means “early”, this refers to its flowering earlier than other forms of the hybrid. It flowers from July to November, making it one of the longest and latest flowering plants you'll have in your garden!

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