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The Creation of the Clematis Amazing® Series

The Art of Breeding

written by: Thursd. | 13-05-2020

Clematis Amazing

Imagine that 99.9% of your work leads to nothing. Would you continue with it? But what if the 0.01% that remains is so unique that you do not want to stop? Exactly that’s the Art of Breeding.

We go back a century in time. Somewhere a clematis is used as a cut flower. WW II starts, and the cut flower disappears. A breeder goes looking for this ‘cut’ clematis in the ’90s and ends up in Japan. He sees opportunities to refine the clematis from a garden plant to a cut flower.

 

Clematis Amazing

 

A Deep Dive

Jan van Zoest, the owner of clematis nursery J. van Zoest B.V., wants to continue developing this flower. But this cut flower is not easily placed in a vase. The process from breeding to introduction can thus take a decade. Jan is looking for a partner, someone who is just as fond of innovative species as he is. After having heard “not interested” several times, he arrives at Marginpar. And he immediately receives a resounding yes. The adventure begins… Jan van Zoest: “Marginpar has stuck its neck out. This is not a ready-made product. None of us knew whether this would work.”

 

Clematis Amazing
Clematis Amazing® Star River

 

The breeder takes care of the pollination of the clematis with pollen stamen and pistils. With a clear goal: a specific characteristic, better, stronger, and above all, something that is not yet available in the market. The ‘parents’ are carefully selected. And after pollination, the waiting starts. The seeds are sown, grown, weaned. After two or three years, it is visible whether the plant has the right characteristics and the first selection follows. Only the best are selected. The X factor of the flora. The selection is increased by cuttings.

 

Clematis Amazing
Clematis Amazing® Kibo

 

Off to Africa

After two years of cuttings, a part can go to the Marginpar farm in Tanzania. It is tested whether they also grow well there, whether they are resistant to fungi, how easily they multiply, the vase life, and so on. Jan’s son Jos van Zoest travels there regularly to investigate and guide the new species and pull the plug when necessary. Even if there is already a field full of them, because yes: “We only go for the best. It just has to be really good.” If a winner has emerged, multiplication starts, so with the introduction of the clematis, there is sufficient supply to meet the demand all year round.

In 2006 it happened. The clematis Amazing® Blue Pirouette is the first clematis cut flower to be introduced and embraced. It then takes five years for a successor to come, but after that, it goes fast. New cultivars are added to the assortment almost every year. The counter is currently at 13(!).

 

Clematis Amazing
Marginpar Tanzania with clematis Amazing® Blue Pirouette

 

Clematis Amazing® Inspiration followed in 2011 and Clematis Amazing® Star River was added in 2012. Marginpar received the prestigious Holland Tulip Award from Flora Holland in 2014 for the latter. In the spring of 2015, Clematis Amazing® London was introduced at the Country Living Fair in London and in the course of the same year also clematis Amazing® Geneva, clematis Amazing® Rome and clematis Amazing® Oslo entered the stage. Clematis Amazing® Toronto was added to the range in early 2016, clematis Amazing® Miami in 2017. Clematis Amazing® Tokyo and clematis Amazing® Kibo followed in 2018, clematis Amazing® Shira in 2019.

 

Clematis Amazing
Four varieties: Toronto, Havana, Tokyo, and Inspiration

 

In 2020 a brand-new variety is introduced: The clematis Amazing® Havana! The newcomer, Havana, is blue/lilac in color with a dark lilac stripe on the back of her petals. Her heart is easy to look at, the white stamens have deep purple tips. A beautiful sight when the flower opens and a special feature among the cut clematis. This variety has a large flower at the top, and four smaller buds on the side branches, which open slowly. The clematis Amazing® Havana will be available around May 2020, exclusively at Marginpar.

 

Clematis Amazing
Clematis Amazing® Havana

 

Some Clematis Facts for Florists

Lifespan

The average lifespan is around 10-14 days. In a warm or dark environment, the lifespan will be shorter. If the environment is light and cool, the branches can flower nicely for at least 3 weeks.

Water lover

The clematis loves fresh, clean water and is a heavy drinker. She does not like to be put on floral foam. We suggest using water tubes for special designs.

Amazing property

The clematis cut flower has the special property that the flowers and buds stand up again when they are used diagonally or horizontally. Most cut flowers cannot do this. The clematis Amazing® Tokyo, when used in the 90cm length, is an excellent example of this special feature. Due to the long length, the stem can be placed laying down (with the end in a water tube), while the soft pink flowers will turn upwards. Imagine this flower in a wedding design!

 

Clematis Amazing
Clematis Amazing® Rome

 

So, imagine that 99.9% of your work leads to nothing. Would you continue with it? But what if the 0.01% that remains is so unique that you do not want to stop? Exactly that’s the Art of Breeding. That is how a product like clematis, against all odds, has become a beloved flower for many purposes. Florists who are not quite familiar with this flower are cordially invited to go work with this flower. Keep in mind the earlier instructions and you will bedazzle your customers.


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