Our beautiful native Clematis which the Maoris call 'puawhananga' apparently meaning the 'The Sacred Flower' is a stand out spring feature dotted on the Hills of Bush I drive over each day on my journey to work. The starry white, lightly scented blossoms that herald the Spring, are up to four inches across, and on mass in the native bush look like small patches of snow on the tops of trees. All of the nine species of Clematis native to New Zealand are evergreen, and of these C. paniculata is the largest flowered and most spectacular. In Autumn it again features a grand display with its fluffy silvery seed heads.
Simply grown up the side of a tree as in its native habitat, and as with almost all clematis keep its root run cool, I give it a feed annually in the Autumn with some good quality leaf mould, then all that is required is 'Do not disturb'.
It is a pity that this native species is not more widely grown in New Zealand gardens, as it can be easily propagated by cuttings or seed.
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