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Frances Rivis Clematis Plants

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The details

Clematis alpina

  • Mid-green foliage with narrow leaflets
  • Lilac purple flowers
  • Grows densely
  • Height up to 3m
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
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3 Litre
3 +
£ 17.94


Clematis Alpina 'Frances Rivis'

Clematis Alpina 'Frances Rivis' is a delightful hardy climber, with nodding and slightly twisted violet-blue flowers bringing a frothy show of elegant colour to your garden in spring. With prompt pruning after flowering, you can expect more flowers to appear in late summer, and the silky, silvery seed heads will also make an enchanting display.

It's easy to care for and tolerates full sun and partial shade, neutral and alkaline soils, and cold winters. You could mix this with another clematis for an extended season.

Browse our variety of clematis or see our full range of climbing plants.

Great for your garden:

This medium-sized clematis grows to a maximum height of around 3 metres. 'Frances Rivis' will be happiest in alkaline or neutral soil. It will do well in full sun or partial shade in any aspect. If in full sun, do ensure the base and roots are shaded and kept cool with other plants or pebbles. It doesn't need pruning, just a bit of trimming back will keep it in good shape.

Clematis look fabulous up a house or garden wall, along a trellis, or grown over a garden gateway, post or arch. For a romantic look, and to add colour, you can grow it through a hedge or shrub.

  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Height up to 3m
  • Spread up to 1.5m
  • Mid-green foliage with narrow leaflets
  • This deciduous climber grows fairly densely, so it can be used to cover posts or other structures

Clematis Alpina 'Frances Rivis' characteristics.

  • Violet-blue flowers with white centres
  • Bell-shaped with a slight twist to the petals
  • Unscented
  • Flowers Feb-April and again in late summer if pruned
  • Height up to 3m
  • Spread up to 1.5m
  • Tolerates hard winters and wind
  • Pruning Group 1
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Look out for:

Clematis slime flux. It's an uncommon bacterial infection but can be fatal. It happens when the plant has an injury and bacteria infect the wound. Signs include wilting and yellowing of the leaves, as well as the unpleasant slime in the stems where the plant is affected.


This clematis originated in Tibet, where the seeds were collected by Mrs Frances Rivis of Saxmundham, Suffolk. The Suffolk Naturalists' Society was a beneficiary in her will, and they still run a bursary for 'Studies of the county's flora' in her name.

The hybrid was raised by Sir Cedric Morris in 1965, a painter who had moved to Suffolk and opened an art school as well as indulging his passion for plants. Among his students was Lucien Freud. The Tate gallery held an exhibition of his work after his death.

Planting and Care Instructions

How to grow Clematis Alpina 'Frances Rivis':

Clematis Alpina 'Frances Rivis' can be grown easily following the Clematis planting notes.

  • Pruning is not essential, but a trim of the dead and damaged stems will keep the plant healthy and encourage vigorous growth.
  • A classic planting combination is with roses, which bloom around the same time and offer support to the climbing vine. Why not experiment with colour mixes for your own take on this tradition.
  • If in full sun, do ensure the base and roots are shaded and kept cool with other plants or pebbles.
  • You can grow this clematis in a tub of at least 18 inches wide and deep. Use a soil based potting compost and plant the crown about 5-8 cm deep (2-3 inches). It can be propagated by layering or semi-hardwood cuttings.
  • What to expect

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