Clematis is a genus which is well known in cultivation with a number of exotic species and cultivars being widely grown in many parts of the world. They are usually climbing plants with well over 200 species occurring in many countries. There are about 6 or 7 Australian species.
In contrast to most other species, Clematis gentianoides is a small, erect, non-climbing plant to 45 cm high, with many short branching stems arising close together from a persistent rootstock. The simple leaves are opposite, lanceolate, and about 8 cm long, veins pinnate but appearing longitudinal. Flowering occurs from late spring to mid summer with male and female flowers being borne on separate plants. The flowers are terminal on the erect branches and are are star-shaped, white up to 6cm across with 4-8 petaloid sepals, with no true petals. The flowers are followed (on the female plants) by fluffy seed heads.
Not often cultivated, C. gentianoides would make an interesting rockery plant. It prefers a sunny or semi shaded position and is reported as easy to grow but does not like to dry out in the summer (so may need extra water in a dry position.
Propagation can be carried out from fresh seed and from cuttings.
Photo: Cas Liber