Daily Flower Candy: Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ AGM

It’s been a vintage year for clematis, in our London garden especially. Plants that have previously performed well but never shone have been turbo-charged by a cool, damp start to the year. They have veritably raced up columns, walls and trees, treating us to lush, unblemished displays of colourful flowers. Non climbing Clematis heracleifolia has almost taken over the entire bog garden that separates our pond from the vegetable garden. In late summer its hyacinth-like, blue flowers will give us weeks of pleasure.

Cream of this year’s crop is Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’, which I planted several years ago in the shelter of the Victorian school building where we live. Here the plant’s roots enjoy a cool, moist root-run, thickly mulched with pea gravel and shaded by surrounding pots and planters. Clematis dislike having their lower portions exposed to the sun so it’s a good idea to underplant or protect the first foot or so of growth with an old roof tile.


Raised in France in 1900, Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ was believed to have been lost in cultivation until it was rediscovered by esteemed plantsman Christopher Lloyd. The Lady, as I refer to her, produces rich, magenta-red flowers from long, pointed buds in mid summer and a second flush in early autumn. Her petals are as heavily rouged and puckered as a dowager’s lips. Whilst Madame Julia is resistant to clematis wilt she is prone to mildew which has, on occasion blighted the leaves and stems so badly that I’ve cut the whole plant back mid season. Regardless of her susceptibility, the RHS saw fit to bestow an Award of Garden Merit in 1993.


If I had choices I might grow Madame Julia through a purple-leaved shrub such as Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ or Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’, or train her up a obelisk in a border planted with Rosa ‘Charles de Mills’, Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’, Ammi majus and magenta Lychnis coronaria. Provided the compost can be kept evenly moist, this versatile, free-flowering clematis will also do perfectly well in a pot.

Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ is available from Taylor’s Clematis and other reputable nurseries.

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18 thoughts on “Daily Flower Candy: Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ AGM

  1. That is just devine. It deserves to clothe that wall without any competition though I have to say that majestic window is the perfect foil for this special Lady!!!!

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  2. Absolutely wonderful plant! Love the colour and its majestic growth. Thanks for sharing the photos with us. Have a nice evening and Sunday. ( It’s +36*C at my place now – tropical heat and strong storms, I hope nothing will be damaged in my garden …)

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    1. We have the storms but not the temperature here in London. We are trying to get out to Kent but there are roads and tunnels flooded everywhere. Our garden is sodden and the pond is overflowing. Everything is growing wonderfully strong and lush. I hope your garden is watered and not spoiled.

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      1. Luckily the storm is over and my garden has not been affected. It was just well watered and the plants seem to be happy again. Some hydrangeas have burnt leaves due to the heat we have had for a couple of days. Thank God the temperatures are “moderate” again and it’s +24*C at the moment. I hope you managed to get to Kent in spite of the flooded roads. Have you both a nice Sunday 🙂

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  3. So you too live in a Victorian school building… I think the combinations you suggest would look marvellous. Next door from us there is the Sambuca paired with a dark purple clematis, but I bet your “Lady” would look far better with it. In my own garden, C. “Marie Boisselot” gives me much pleasure, the flowers lasting and lasting and lasting. Don’t know whether this is simply down to the weather or because it is a superior cultivar though, as I only planted it last year. Certainly lasts much longer than C. “The President” next to it.
    Have a nice Sunday and hopefully not too much trouble with Dartfort or Blackwall tunnel on the way back!

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    1. Oh Goodness we had such trouble getting home. The Blackwall Tunnel was flooded so we chose Tower Bridge. What a nightmare! And in the space of 3 days and about 6″ of rain the garden has gone berserk. I really hope it’s dry tomorrow so that I can get out there and tidy it up. Thanks for reminding me of ‘Marie Boisselot’, certainly a very superior variety with gorgeous white flowers.

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  4. Stunning. Mine have bloomed, but they certainly didn’t look anything like yours. I hate to even say we are in a drought right now with other areas under water. I’m hoping we will get some rain before too much longer. I mulched for the second time this year trying to keep things from drying out. Hope all is well since your election. I’ve been reading up on it to try and understand the two sides.

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    1. If you do work it all out, do let me know! Things seem to be going from bad to worse. Meanwhile real life goes on exactly as normal, as it always does and always will. Have a good week …. I’m sending some rain your way 💦🌧💦🌧

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  5. I am not a natural gardener and bought Madame Julia clematis when I was impatient to have a climber in our new garden. I did not prune it back he first year. Can you advise whether my first year negligenc won’t harm providing I prune type 3 this coming winter.

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