A Clematis Conundrum

My Clematis jackmanii is beautiful and bountiful this year, but I am puzzled by a strange phenomenon regarding its flowers.

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Clematis jackmanii

Named varieties of plants are supposed to have unique characteristics. But how am I to understand a plant that produces blossoms with four (normal), five, and even six petals? Is there a botanical explanation? Or is it one of those chance things that happen from time to time?

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I have decided not be overly concerned about my wayward Jackman, but I would be quite interested if any of my viewers have experienced similar oddities with clematis or other plants.

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and has been a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in Stallings, NC with his wife, in close proximity to seven of his eight grandchildren.
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4 Responses to A Clematis Conundrum

  1. Your plant is beautiful! Wish I could help with the your conundrum.

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  2. johnvic8 says:

    Perhaps you could come over and do a first hand evaluation 🙂

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  3. Lis says:

    Hi! I have a Jackmanii that is doing the same thing this year, The blooms toward the bottom of the plant have 4 petals, the ones at the top have 6. It can vary from year to year, so nothing to be concerned about.

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  4. I never noticed this variation but it doesn’t surprise me. Jackmanii is an old variety and I think there are more individuals out there who are not clones. A certain amount of variation will occur naturally.

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