Clematis x ‘Rooguchi’
When this clematis was first introduced from Japan by breeder Kazushige Ozawa not much was none about its parentage. Because the bell-shaped flowers look so much like many North American species such as C. pitcheri, C. texensis and C. viorna, we thought it likely to have at least partial native parentage. Many authors however consider ‘Rooguchi’ to be a hybrid between Asian species C. integrifolia and C. x durandii. Other authors believe that C. reticulata, from the southeast, in particular Florida, is one of the parents – if so it would confirm our hunch. While its parentage is murky, what is quite clear is that ‘Rooguchi’ is a spectacular plant. The deep purple flowers are produced abundantly over a long season on a plant that is herbaceous, dying to the ground each winter, but clambering about through the growing season and capable of climbing if you give it a little help.