The clematis is hot and a lot is happening in the industry. Over the years, there has been a bit of a consolidation with respect to the main players for the clematis liners. Clearview, for example, recently purchased the stock of one of the breeders, Spring Valley Growers and together with Donahue’s of MN and Roseville Farms of Florida they are currently the three main players supplying liners to the North American growers. We had a talk with Clearview's Rob Wein about Clearview and the reason for the ongoing increase in demand for this crop.
The team of Clearview at the PMA Fresh Summit 2019 in Anaheim (CA), with Rob Jr. Wein on the right, Rob's son.
Clearview - only breeder of clematis in North America
In 2020 Clearview purchased the clematis stock of Spring Valley Growers, making them the only North American breeder of Clematis. Clearview has introduced the popular Clematis Vancouver™ series three of which are pictured below. With Spring Valley’s genetics including Tie Dye and others Clearview now has a great mix of exclusive varieties. However, on top of their own breeding, they are always looking for new varieties to add to their assortment. "There are some exciting varieties that are being bred in Europe, Japan, Poland, Estonia and elsewhere that find their way into North America. “Although we have a great breeding program, we are always on the hunt for new and exciting genetics no matter where we need to bring them from," says Wein.
Increasing demand for clematis
For several years, the demand for clematis is rising and according to Wein, there a several reasons for this ongoing increase. "Firstly, there has been an increased awareness of clematis in general. This has been facilitated by many types of retailers electing to carry clematis. In general, we see that the clematis have become an important item for many retailers. The gamut is now independent garden centers, online mail order, chain stores, home improvement stores and grocery outlets."
Another reason for the increase in demand is the garden size, he points out. "Garden size has continued to get smaller, hence there is a draw toward vertical gardens. On top of that, container gardening is on the increase and many clematis varieties work well in containers."
Also, the wide assortment and versatility of the crop contributes to the ongoing increase. "Clematis are available in such a wide assortment of colors and growth habits ranging from ground covers to others that climb to 30 ft or more."
"Finally major producers such as us have honed in on producing the best genetics so that the final consumer ends up with a great plant in their garden. Note the best genetics are not necessarily the newest as there are still some great older varieties such as HF Young and others."