Clematis alpina

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Clematis alpina Mill.


Life form: climber
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   5

Moisture: moderately moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: opposite
Leaves: decidious

Shape: lanceolate

Division: ternate


Shape: campanulate
Fruit: nutlet

87C / 8b62b2 

Inflorescence: solitary

Petals: single
Habit: nodding

Growth form: not specified



Clematis alpina is a climber.


Clematis alpina was already described and the name validly published by Carl Linnaeus. It was Philip Miller, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1768.


Clematis alpina is a species in the genus Clematis which contains approximately 434 to 526 species and belongs to the family of the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family). The type species of the genus is Clematis vitalba.


Clematis alpina - flowers
Clematis alpina - branches
Clematis alpina - fruits


The climbers are comparatively fast-growing and reach heights of 1 to 3 metres. The plants reach a width of 1 to 1.5 metres.


Clematis alpina is deciduous. The mid-green, ternate leaves are opposite. The leaflets are lanceolate and petiolate. They have serrate margins and reticulate venation. The surface of the leaves is glabrous. They turn an attractive yellow in autumn.

Flowers and Fruits

Clematis alpina produces solitary nodding, bluish purple campanulate flowers from April to June. The plants flower on last years shoots. They are hermaphroditic.

The climbers produce ornamental white nutlets in summer.

Root System

The plants form shallow roots.


Clematis alpina is native to Europe.


The climbers prefer a sunny situation on moderately moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil with a pH between 6,5 and 7,5. They tolerate temperatures down to -29°C (USDA zone 5).


The recommended planting distance is 50 to 80 centimetres, the climbers are best planted in groups of 3 to 5. Suited for rockeries and for rooftop gardens, as well as suited as espalier plant.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.



Clematis alpina is toxic.

Aeskulap  Please read the health issues note

Pests and Diseases

Honeydew, galls and distorted leaves are a sign for an infestation with aphids. Use an insecticide or control biologically , e.g. with parasitic wasps or predators such as Aphidoletes aphidimyza.

Root and stem lesions, often in combination with raised rings of bark and pustules nearby, indicate a fungal infection. Generously cut out and destroy affected parts.

Leaf blotches are a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection. Bacterial spots are rather angular and yellow-rimmed while fungal spots usually are rather rounded with an area of fruiting bodies. Destroy affected parts, additionaly apply fungizide it is is a fungal infection.

A powdery white coat on the plants indicates an infection with powdery mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

White tufts or white covering on the lower surface of the leaves indicates an infection with downy mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

Brown, orange or yellowish pustules on shoots and on the leaves lower surfaces are very likely caused by a fungal infestation (rust). Remove affected parts and apply fungicide. Also improve ventilation and reduce humidity.

Scale insects that sit on the undersides of the leaves and excrete honeydew can be controlled with insecticide or biologically with parasitic wasps.

Honeydew and sooty mould indicate an infestation with whiteflies. The larvae look like those of mealy bugs, the adults suck sap on the undersides of the leaves. Apply insecticide, under glass control biologically.


  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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