Clematis in the United States During the 1950’s and 1960’s

Clematis in a vase

I was recently contacted by Ms. Kitt Burnsides. Here is her e-mail:

I am working on a project for Mercer Botanical Gardens in Humble (Houston) Texas and looking for some help.  The property was sold to the county as a park in 1973 having been gardened since 1949.  The original owner lists clematis on her list of plants in a letter to the county, however there is no record of what varieties she had.

Do you by any chance have any idea of what varieties might have been popular during the 1950's and 1960's?  Any thoughts you might have would be wonderful

The following are some of the clematis that were available back then.  My sources were the first edition of the Sunset Western Garden Book (1954) and the 10,000 Garden Questions Answered By 15 Experts (1952) as well as a few articles.  I have used their spelling of the clematis ’names and in parentheses I have used the updated spelling used today.  It would be pure speculation though to determine which, if any, of these varieties were actually grown there.

Clematis Duchess of Edinburgh

Clematis Gipsy Queen

Clematis Henryi

Clematis Jackmanii

Clematis lanuginosa (Clematis Lanuginosa)

Clematis Mme. Andre (Clematis Madame Edouard André)

Clematis montana rubens (Clematis Rubens)

Clematis Nelly Moser

Clematis paniculata (Clematis terniflora)

Clematis Ramona

Clematis Star of India

Clematis tangutica

Clematis texensis

If any of my readers have more clematis that they know were popular during that period of time please feel free to contact me so that I can share the information.