Every year at this time my Clematis ‘Piilu’ starts to put on lots of new growth and I can only wait for it to start blooming. It originally was raised from a cross between C. ‘Hagley Hybrid’ and C. ‘Makhrovyi’ in 1984 (30 years ago) and first flowered in 1987. It was then registered in 2000 which means it has been around for quite a few years, so I am surprised this little cutie is not more widely grown by gardeners because to date I have not seen anything quite like it! In my opinion it is one of the best clematis to grow, not only for its beauty but because it is very prolific.
Its tepals are colored a pretty pastel pink with a stunning raspberry bar and its stamens are golden-yellow. This clematis has the capability of forming double flowers in Spring in colder locales. It will not achieve this doubling in the warmer USDA Zones of 10 and 11. The first, second and third crops in warmer locales and second one in colder locales are single flowers. The flower is 4” to 6” in diameter with cupped tepals. It is a pint-sized clematis growing to a height of 4 to 6 feet which makes it the perfect candidate for a container. It thrives equally in sunny or shady locations and can be pruned either lightly or optionally.
(Image credit: This little duckling is licensed by Lori Branham. I used Lori’s photograph as an overlay on my clematis photograph.)
Clematis ‘Piilu’ was bred by renowned clematarian, Mr. Uno Kivistik. The name Piilu is Estonian for “little duckling” and is pronounced pie-loo. In my humble opinion it is destined to be a “classic”!