For sheer shock value, it’s difficult to imagine a more effective Clematis than Rebecca™. Massive 5- to 7-inch blooms in a shade of magenta-red seldom seen in nature cover this climber not once but twice a season. Far more abundant than most others, they draw attention from all corners of the garden, especially during their late-summer encore, when little else is looking its best. So compact it can easily be grown in a container, this Raymond J. Evison introduction has the impact of a vine 5 times its size.The single blooms simply electrify, beginning their first performance in late spring in most climates. Broad, overlapping petals with neatly ruffled edges and a central boss of creamy yellow anthers (resembling a startled eye, as well it might!) demand attention, nearly concealing the small green foliage and wiry brown stems altogether. This display continues for weeks, giving even the proudest rose an inferiority complex.
Rebecca™ rests during the warmest weeks of the summer, and repeats the show in very late season. Utterly magnificent, especially for a climber that reaches only 6 to 8 feet tall and scarcely 2 feet wide at maturity. Rebecca™ is classified as a large-flowered Clematis, and when you see these blooms, you may feel that you never really understood the term “large-flowered” so well before!
So, what to plant it with? You know you’ve got to twine it up and through a climbing rose — honor demands it — but the idea of pairing it with another Clematis is intriguing, too. Best, perhaps, to choose one that isn’t even trying to compete in bloom size or color strength.
Rebecca™ is renowned for its refusal to fade in the sun, even in hot climates where August can be pretty brutal. Plant it fearlessly in these areas, but as always with Clematis, mulch it very heavily to keep its roots cool. This is a Group II Clematis for pruning purposes, and will take a season or two to establish, as all Clematis do. Once it takes off, however, you will find it irresistible! Zones 4-9.