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Two years ago we thought we had bought a clematis 'Nelly Moser' - but when I look at the flower, it doesn't look at all how it should look. The petals are neither pink nor white but purple, and they're not dark in the centre and light at the edges but vice-versa. The flower's centre is yellow, while Nelly Moser has a purple centre, and the flower doesn't even have the same number of petals - ours has six, while Nelly Moser seems to have eight. Does anyone know which kind of clematis we might have instead?

Our cuckoo's egg clematis

The label that came with our clematis

Edited to add:

Wow, you guys are quick! I live in the Netherlands, which should be hardiness zone 10. The clematis started flowering in April, and is still flowering (I took the photo above this morning). I guess that would make it an early vine? And it flowers off new wood, not old wood. And I measured the diameter of the flower - it's about 6-7 cm (roughly 2,5-3 inches) which seems small to me, I think earlier flowers were larger. There are more flowers than this one, but they are too high up for me to reach! And I (very slightly) photoshopped the colour of the clematis to be a more accurate representation of it's real-life colours - and wouldn't be surprised though if you wouldn't really see a difference...

2nd edit:

It might be useful to add that I suspect it might be pruning group 3, not 2. We hardly pruned it this spring, and during these past few months it really grew a lot! It's now about 2-2.5 m high, and looks as if it's dying/drying out at the bottom, while all flowers but one are high above my head - we'll definitely prune it back hard next year!

  • Do you know if it's an early, mid- or late vine? – J. Musser Jun 26 '14 at 15:53
  • Wow, this could be tough. There are literally thousands of purple hybrid clematis. – J. Musser Jun 26 '14 at 15:56
  • When does it flower and does it flower off old wood? – kevinsky Jun 26 '14 at 16:02
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I'm wondering if this is Ville de Lyon, although it usually looks redder than your picture. If the stamens splay out over a day or so after the flower opens, and it is redder than it seems in your picture, then that's what it is.

I don't know where you are in the world, but Nelly Moser is an early, twice flowering variety - the first flowering is in mid to late spring, very large flowers, as illustrated on that packet in your picture, and then a second flowering around fall with smaller flowers. Depending where you are, and if this is the first flower on your clematis, then its likely this is one of the viticella group, which start flowering mid summer and go on for 6 - 8 weeks. The flowers on these varieties are never as large as the Nelly Moser type;- Ville de Lyon is in the viticella group, but there are a great many other varieties, so many now it's hard to keep up to date with them. Whichever one it is, it sure isn't Nelly Moser!

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    Having worked at nurseries, the tags are constantly getting lost, swapped or the plants come from the growers mislabeled. Could you go back to where you bought it, take the flower and some leaves (put in a little water) and ask them? Even two years ago, they usually use the same supplier and get the same clematis varieties every year. – stormy Jun 26 '14 at 17:34
  • @Bamboo I googled Ville de Lyon, and I don't think that it's one of those. The stamens don't splay out, and it is rather more blueish-purplish than it looks in the picture, not more reddish. But I absolutely see why you were thinking of Ville de Lyon. Thank you for your suggestion! – Little Ms Whoops Jun 26 '14 at 18:14
  • @stormy It might do that if I can't find out online. Unfortunately the nursery is at the other end of town and I don't go there very often, and as it's part of a rather large chain store, I'm not quite sure how well the sales people would be able to help. Also not quite sure if they sell clematis at this time of the year? – Little Ms Whoops Jun 26 '14 at 18:18
  • I know this clematis, it is very common but I can't remember the name. I'll take a peek on line as well... – stormy Jun 26 '14 at 18:24
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Daniel Derona Clematis

Your last comment said it was more bluish purple than reddish purple. There are more pictures of this clematis that are more purplish...this is the first time I've included a link, grin, so bear with me if I've made a boo-boo.

Jackman Clematis

Elsa Spath ?

  • Just a tiny bit more blueish, unfortunately! I love how Daniel Deronda looks, especially that deep colour! I'm not too happy with our cuckoo's egg because I'm not a fan of the slightly pale tinted purple, but it's growing too well to exchange it for another one :) – Little Ms Whoops Jun 26 '14 at 19:12
  • The pictures of Daniel Deronda actually lead me on to another question - do specific kinds of clematis always have the same number of petals? – Little Ms Whoops Jun 26 '14 at 19:14
  • Specific varieties will always have the same number of petals. There might be the occasional flower that was deformed in its development or it might have some old genetic information telling it to revert to an original parent. Like variegated leaves, plants selected for this trait often revert to old genetic information and the leaves will lose their variegation. – stormy Jun 26 '14 at 19:35
  • @LittleMsWhoops - its definitely not Clematis jackmanii - I grow that one and there's not even a hint of red in its coloration, its a true purple. – Bamboo Jun 27 '14 at 12:00
  • @stormy It actually really looks a lot like Elsa Spath, only the anthers are yellow instead of red. I've called the nursery in the meantime, and they told me they'd try to find out which variety of clematis it could be if I send them a photo by email. I hope I'll hear from them in a few days! – Little Ms Whoops Jul 4 '14 at 12:26
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Looks like the "Horn of Plenty" variety to me.

enter image description here

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    Welcome to the site Beverly! Please try to add a reference and/or picture of the variety when answering [identification] questions, so that other users can see the comparison. I've done this for you here. Thanks! – J. Musser Nov 17 '16 at 1:13
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    For what it's worth, 'Horn of Plenty' Clematis has 8 petal flowers, while the flower in the question has 6 petals – J. Musser Nov 17 '16 at 1:14

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