Cascading blooms, intoxicating scent
You may see a rather ornate vine coated in beautiful flowers cascading on trees and shrubs as you drive around the county. The vine is Sweet Autumn clematis (Clematis paniculate or Clematis maximonowicziana). It is a vigorous vine, native to New Zealand, that is related to the spring blooming cultivated clematis.
The vine can be incorporated into our landscape as it provides an added spark of brilliant white color and an unusually sweet gardenia-like scent to our fading late summer bedding plants.
Unlike the spring blooming clematis, the Sweet Autumn vine is quite aggressive with twisting petioles and twining stems that quickly spread during the summer months. You’ll never have to worry about replanting this fast-growing vine as many complain is it can be somewhat invasive (sorry, Clyde).
There are cultivars of the native species available which are more compact and less aggressive and are perfect additions to many landscapes. The early fall bloomer needs at least four hours of sunlight to achieve maximum blooms. The vine can be pruned back almost to the ground in the early spring and will successfully recover to bloom again in early fall. Go to https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/all/clematis-paniculata/ for more detailed information.