Clematis macropetala

Common Name: downy clematis 
Type: Vine
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: Siberia, Mongolia, China
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Violet, lavender-blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut


Grow in fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Roots should be kept cool, shaded and uniformly moist. Bloom occurs on the previous year's growth. No pruning is required, but may be pruned to shape immediately after flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Clematis macropetala, sometimes commonly called downy clematis, is a deciduous, early-flowering, semi-woody climbing clematis vine which typically grows 6-10' and features nodding, lantern-shaped, almost-columbine-like, pale lavender-blue flowers (to 3" across) in April. Flowers give way to fluffy, pinkish seed heads which have good ornamental interest. Biternate, medium green foliage with deeply cut leaflets.

Genus name comes from the Greek word klematis which is an old name applied to climbing plants.

Specific epithet means large petals.


Clematis wilt is a potentially fatal fungal disease that can affect any clematis, but large-flowered, hybrid varieties are the most susceptible. Powdery mildew, leaf spots, rust and viruses can also be problematic. Potential insect pests include aphids, vine weevils, slugs/snails, scale and earwigs. Watch for spider mites.


Many gardeners believe C. macropetala is best planted to sprawl through large shrubs because it flowers early and is not that attractive during the remaining part of the growing season. Like other climbing clematises, it can also be trained to climb a wall, trellis, fence, arbor, porch, lamp post or other stationary structure.