This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Clematis and clethra, referring to the similarity of the flower to that of Clethra and to the climbing habit). Dilleniacese. Shrubs grown for the profusely produced fragrant flowers and the attractive black or red berries.
Deciduous slimbing plants: branches with solid pith: winter-buds conspicuous, free, with several imbricate scales: leaves petioled, usually serrate: flowers in axillary cymes or panicles, sometimes solitary, white; sepals 5, imbricate, persistent; petals 5, imbricate; stamens 10, short; ovary 5-celled, each cell with 10 ovules; style simple, cylindric: fruit berry-like, with thin flesh, subglobose, usually 5-seeded. - About 12 species in Cent, and W. China. Closely allied' to Actinidia which is easily distinguished by its numerous stamens, many styles, many-seeded fruit and in the winter state by its winter-buds being hidden by a swelling of the tissue around their base. Several species have been recently introduced, but the names of most of them have not yet been determined. They are apparently hardier than the Chinese actinidias and superior from an ornamental point of view on account of their profusely produced flowers and fruits though the foliage as a rule is smaller and not quite so handsome.
Prop, by seeds and probably, like actinidias, by greenwood cuttings in summer and also by hardwood cuttings and layers.
Hemsleyi, Baill. Climbing, to 20ft.: young branches pubescent at first, soon glabrous: leaves slender petioled, ovate to oblong-ovate, acuminate, denticulate, glabrous above, brownish pubescent on the veins beneath, 2-4 in. long: flowers white, about 1/2in. across, 4-12 in stalked axillary cymes: fruit globose, black, about 1/3in across. Cent. China. H.I. 29:2808.
Maxim. Quite glabrous: leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, finely serrulate or entire, dark green above, glaucous beneath, 1 1/2-3 in. long: flowers solitary or in 2- or 3-flowered cymes on slender stalks, white, 1/3- 1/2in. across: fruit globose, black. W. China.