Climber Plants : Clematis Vine, Clematis Plant, Clematis Plants

The World of Climbers / Climber Plants

The term ‘climbing plant’ covers a multitude of very different kinds of plants, ranging from the familiar climbing rose to the exotic Lapageria rosea. Between these two extremes of climbing plants is the clematis plant or clematis vine – much loved and yet so often misunderstood.

climbing plants

Such climbing plants have been cultivated for many centuries, and for a variety of reasons. The Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), for example, was used to cover an unsightly wall, or to add an air of romance and nostalgia. The rose around the cottage door was usually ‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ – a virtually thornless variety, its flowers beautifully perfumed and white with a flush of pink.

Climbing plants evolved to take advantage of the taller plants growing around them. They needed to reach the light in order to survive, so they adapted themselves by making use of neighbouring plants, using them as supports up which to grow. Once they had reached the light, they could then flower and eventually set seed to complete the cycle.

Climbers have evolved in various ways in order to achieve this end. The golden hop (Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’) and wisteria twine themselves around a host plant, Ivies (Hedera spp.) and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) have small pads that stick to plants or walls, while climbing plants like the clematis vine use their leaf stem to attach themselves. The most aggressive method is found among the roses – vigorous climbers such as Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ use their viciously downward-pointing spines to attach themselves to even the tallest trees.

The different ways in which climber plants grow, each with the same objective of finding the sunlight, are of interest in themselves, but they also give us an indication of where to grow these climbing plants and how grow them. Climbers are among the most adaptable of plants, and among the most rewarding to grow.

See more about clematis plants and clematis varieties.


26. August 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Climber Plants | Tags: | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Quick Tips for Growing Grape Vines

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