Oregon Clematis Collection Granted National Status

From Linda Beutler, Curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection

The Rogerson Clematis Collection, the most comprehensive gathering of the genus clematis in the United States, has recently been granted National Collection status by the North American Plant Collections Consortium. Located in our own backyard at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego, the Rogerson Collection has amassed over 650 species and cultivars of clematis, including a recent gift from Poland of rare and previously unavailable cultivars from the late clematis breeder Brother Stefan Franczak.

The North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC) is a network of botanical gardens and arboreta working to coordinate a continent-wide approach to plant germplasm preservation, promoting education and high standards of plant collections management. The NAPCC is administered by the American Public Garden Association.

The Rogerson Collection is administered by the non-profit Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection (FRCC) and curated by Linda Beutler.

The Collection was begun in the late 1970s by Brewster Rogerson, who moved with his plants to Oregon from Kansas in the 1980s. After maintaining the clematis in private greenhouses for many years, he donated his collection to the FRCC for its care and preservation in 2005.

The FRCC leases a portion of Luscher Farm, a historic agricultural site operated by the City of Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department. The FRCC maintains a greenhouse and is currently developing a variety of display gardens showcasing the use of clematis organically grown in diverse landscapes by home gardeners. FRCC also offers classes to the public and provides research opportunities in clematis cultivation and propagation.

The designation as a National Collection links the FRCC to a network of other unique and outstanding plant collections across the continent, including the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, the Chicago Botanical Garden, and the Huntington Botanical Garden in California. The Rogerson Collection is the second largest collection of plants to be granted this status.

Linda shared with us photos of two plants in the collection. The first shows the fabulous foliage of Clematis terniflora ‘Variegata’, the variegated Sweet Autumn Clematis. Variegated clematis are quite rare, and this plant was acquired through Dan Hinkley. The second picture is Clematis ‘Esprit’, a seedling selection of Mr. Rogerson’s, which the collection has registered and is propagating for sale. It blooms all summer and has been field-trialed for four years.

Meet Linda at the Yard, Garden & Patio show where she will be speaking about “Perennial Pleasures: Perennials for all Seasons” on Friday, February 12, at 1pm and “Pruning Clematis: Shattering the Myths” on Sunday, February 14 at 11:30am.

Learn more about the Rogerson Clematis Collection at www.rogersonclematiscollection.org.