London (change)
12 messages
04/09/2013 at 21:00

 I bought and planted Clematis Josephine (as above label), in May 2012 to try to cover a nasty fence (see photo). However, after planting, it failed to flower in 2012, and again this year. Instead, it has produced an absolute mass of foliage, smothering all the other plants in the border. After hacking some back to get some light to my attempted espalied an apple and plum tree also on the fence in June, it continued to go completely bonkers foliage wise. It has now produced some tiny, white flowers

 What has happened to my clematis? Has it reverted to 'wild' type? Did I buy a mislabelled plant?

Will it ever produce the double blue Josephine flowers?

I need to decide whether to dig the whole plant up, as it is completely smothering all the other plants in my border.

Many thanks,


04/09/2013 at 21:03

I'm no expert, but some of those leaves look like bind weed. Does it wind its way round branches etc? The little flowers aren't right for bind weed though. Still someone with better knowledge than me will no doubt help further 

04/09/2013 at 21:09

that looks very much like the wild clematis, Travellers Joy. Clematis vitalba. It won't have reverted, it will have been what was in the pot. As you still have the label I'd take it back with a length of flowering growth and get the real thing or your money back.

Years ago I nurtured a tree I bought as black mulberry. I kept looking at this tree and thinking 'I don't think so'. Eventually it produced white blossom and tiny cherries. Errors occur in nurseries and wildlings can seed into pots and take over

04/09/2013 at 21:13

I have a pear tree with a label on saying its a cherry. I got a replacement and got to keep the pear.

04/09/2013 at 21:14

I knew someone would know better than me! 

04/09/2013 at 21:21

they're weeds along with the ash etc here 4th Panda, but I do like to have at least one plant. 

04/09/2013 at 22:12

Did you ever get the mulberry, nut?

I'd love to have one but, apart from the fact that I already have a veritable forest with little space left for anything else, I fear that the number of summers left to me will be insufficient to allow me to enjoy it.

04/09/2013 at 22:13

Thanks for all of the suggestions. Definately not bind weed! The flowers are at the end of the clematis foliage.


I have read somewhere that Clematis Josephine can produce greenish flowers instead of blue if growing conditions wrong - but haven't seen any pictures. As you can see from the piccies, the plant has gone completely bonkers in just one year, and I bought Josephine because I thought it was a relatively small growing variety.

I bought the plant from Hilliers in Prior Park, Bath. Would have thought it would be quite reliable supplier.

04/09/2013 at 22:22

No waterbutts, never got a mulberry. All my tree-size spaces are spoken for now and  not really room for all of those that are here. 

And there's the passing years thing as well. Don't think I need to cut down to just annuals yet though

04/09/2013 at 22:23

04/09/2013 at 22:27

Right, having just googled pictures of the wild Clematis Vitalba, this is exactly what I have! Having given it the benefit of the doubt last year after planting, I have an absolute monster on my hands!! Many thanks to Nutcutlet!!!! Kinda explains why it is smothering everything depite hacking back a couple of feet last year and this.

It is going to be dug up tomorrow and money back sought from Hilliers.

Digging up will be difficult though, as it has quite hefty stems. I think my beautiful espalier plum and apple will thank me though.

04/09/2013 at 22:53

It's capable of getting to the top of a large tree Zoe. You see them smothering everything in sight. Most noticeable in autumn/early winter when the beards are displayed. Miles of it along roadsides, way up in the trees.

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