Pretty in Pink: Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’


(Image credit: Pretty in Pink is licensed by Paramount Pictures.)

Clematis 'Hagley Hybrid'

The coloring of Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’ is often described as a dusky, shell-pink, but to me personally its pink coloring is quite reminiscent of the iconic dress in the movie “Pretty in Pink”.  The coloring of the early blossom’s tepals are colored a bright, almost mauvy-pink to sometimes a coral-pink that eventually fades to a soft, cotton-candy pink.  Its flowers are 4” to 6” in diameter and have 6 pointed, boat-shaped tepals.  Its stamens are brown which makes them a nice contrast to the pink tepals.  It will grow to a height of 6 to 8 feet.  Because of its compact size, it makes an excellent container selection.  You may prune it hard or optionally.  It is very popular because it is free flowering throughout the season and grows in USDA Zones 4 through 11.

Clematis 'Hagley Hybrid'

Clematis 'Hagley Hybrid'

In my opinion, Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’ thrives equally in sunny or shady locations.  However, I have read in some places they feel it will fade if grown in the sun.  The reason I say they can take sunny locations (not scorching locations like the Mohave Dessert though) is because in the rather warm locale (USDA Zone 10a) in which I live, the one I am growing does quite nicely.  I have also seen this clematis growing happily in other sunny locations such as Monterey Wholesale Nursery (Watsonville, CA) and Chalk Hill Clematis (Healdsburg, CA).  As you can see from my photographs (above) they were sitting in direct sunlight.  It was also nice to see one pictured on page 120 of Christopher Lloyd’s book, Clematis, situated in a sunny location.  If I have not yet waylaid your uncertainties about it possibly bleaching out prematurely (as that most clematis fade with age whether in sunlight or not) may I suggest before planting it into the ground, wait and do a test-run while it is still is in a container and see how its flowers handle your bright location.   The good news is that it won’t take very long to find out because the sun will do its dirty deed quickly (usually in a day or two) if it is going to remove the pink coloring.

Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’ was introduced in the United Kingdom by Percy Picton in 1956.  Its parentage is unknown.  It was raised by Mr. Picton circa 1945 when he was head gardener at Hagley Hall.  In the U.S. you may see this clematis being sold under the trademarked name C. Pink Chiffon™.  With no disrespect to the late Mr. Picton’s naming of this lovely clematis, I really do like our American synonym more, but I will continue to call it ‘Hagley Hybrid’.

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