Two years ago Swedish amateur clematis breeder Sixten Widberg, the man who bred ‘Sixten’s Gift’ and gave it to FRCC, and also the creator of Clematis viticella ‘Hanna’, sent us two batches of seed. The seedlings were planted last summer (2011), and many are enjoying their first bloom this year.
The first batch are seed from his viticella selection, ‘Hanna’ (named for his daughter). There are two of the 15 seedlings that are identical to C.v. ‘Hanna’, and the rest run the gamut of viticella group options, except nothing nearing red. Several are outlined, and some are short, but that may change in the coming two years of their trial. Pictured here are two of the more interesting of the “Hanna Seedlings”.
The second batch of seed was labelled “Sixten’s Special Mix”, so of course we had to quiz him about what to expect. Evidently Sixten mixed all kinds of Viorna Group pollen, and pollinated Clematis viorna, as the seed parent. Several of these seedlings (not all are in the ground yet), have bloomed with a distinct resemblance to Clematis ianthina, and are flowering at less than a meter tall (again, that may change once they get their legs under them). None of the seedlings bear any resemblance to their seed parent. But the pick of this litter, is this very purple Clematis integrifolia-looking baby. It is shown here in a picture taken on 8 August 2012, at the height of its first bloom. Prolific? Oh, my! The plant is about 2/3 of a meter tall, and in bloom from top to bottom. The leaves are sessile, and the plant is very bushy. It has been voted most likely to succeed, and of all of the Sixten seedlings, this is by far the one to watch.
We thank Sixten for his continued generosity to FRCC. He has given the rights to all of these plants to FRCC, so we will be watching them for the next two years, and trying to keep the moles away from them!