Clematis marmoraria

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Clematis marmoraria
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Clematis marmoria
Clematis marmoria
Plant Info
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Scientific classification
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Ranunculales
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Family: Ranunculaceae
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Genus: Clematis
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Species: C. marmoraria
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Binomial name
Clematis marmoraria
Trinomial name
Type Species

Clematis marmoraria (New Zealand dwarf clematis) is an evergreen plant with parsley-like, leathery and dark green foliage. The white flowers are about 2 cm wide, blooming in early spring.

Distribution New Zealand: South Island

Fully hardy

Sunny, sheltered site in well-drained sandy loam wedged between rocks; dislikes winter wet.

The tiny New Zealand Clematis marmoraria ranks as the smallest in a familiar genus in a familiar species found worldwide. Discovered in 1973, it grows on a few remote crags in mountains to the northwest of Nelson on the South Island of New Zealand. A delightful plant, it immediately appealed to alpine gardeners, and today is far more numerous in cultivation that it is in its wild retreats, where it is considered Rare on the 1997 Red List.

Together with other New Zealand species, notably Clematis paniculata and Clematis petriei, it has been used to breed a range of nonclimbing hybrids. Clematis marmoraria is rarely more than 4 in (10cm) tall, and has stems spreading close to the ground, covered in shiny, leathery leaves, and flowers up to 2 in (5cm) across. The plants are either male or female. Although females bear smaller flowers, they produce silky seedheads maturing from white to tawny yellow. Both sexes need to be grown side by side to produce viable seed, which should be sown fresh. Plants thrive in a cold frame, or outdoors in a trough or raised bed if protected from winter wet.

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