Clematis heracleifolia is an unusual herbaceous clematis that unlike most of its relatives does not climb.
For most of the year, the foliage provides the interest. The leaves are large, hairy and deeply lobed, appearing almost like three separate leaflets with the middle being the largest flanked by its two smaller companions. The leaves are light to mid-green with serrated edges and are borne on sturdy stems that reach 90 - 100 cm. These are usually stiff enough to support themselves. However, they may scramble and can be left to do so, or can be supported by a small framework or other plants that surround it.
The flowers are hyacinth like, arrive from late summer to mid-autumn and are beautiful. Four sepals that have a textured surface and crimped edges, form what looks like a tube - hence the common name Tube Clematis -, then recurve at the tips. They are a deep purple-blue and are held in long lasting clusters.
Position in full sun, however, the base of the plant and roots need to be kept cool; you can achieve this by shading of other plants or a layer of small stones at the base. Plant in most soil types that are well-drained but do not dry out.The crown of the clematis must be at soil level when planting.
Cut stems to ground level in autumn or before growth starts in spring.
THIS PLANT IS WINTER DORMANT
Image attribution; Sten Porse