Eazy Gardening

Beauty with a Warning: Exploring Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ Toxicity

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ (Late Large-Flowered Clematis): A Beautiful Flower for Every Garden

When it comes to choosing the perfect flowering plant for your garden, many factors come into play. One must consider the appearance, blooming habits, and wildlife benefits of the plant.

One such plant that ticks all these boxes is Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’, a late large-flowered clematis. In this article, we will delve into the description and characteristics of this plant, how to cultivate and care for it, and some potential pest and disease issues to look out for.

Overview of the plant:

Common names:

Late Large-Flowered Clematis, Barbara Harrington Clematis

Vernacular names:

Queen of Vines or the “Prince Charles of Clematis,” Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is an ideal plant for any garden. It is named after Barbara Harrington, a clematis enthusiast who worked hard to grow and develop it.

Description of the plant:

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is a herbaceous and deciduous perennial plant. It can grow up to 6-7 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide.

The plant blooms from June to August with large rich violet-blue flowers that have a diameter of 5-7 inches. These flowers give off a sweet, honey-like fragrance and have a distinctive ruffled petal arrangement.

The leaves are a deep green shade, ovate in shape, with a serrated edge. Characteristics and Benefits to Wildlife:

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is a lovely addition to any garden, not just for its looks but for the wildlife benefits it offers.

The plant attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, making it an essential part of any wildlife garden. The large flowers also offer a great nectar source for hummingbirds, and the foliage provides cover for birds and small animals.

Plant cultivation and care:

Preferred Growing Conditions:

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ prefers a sunny or partially shaded spot in the garden. It does well in well-draining soil with a pH of 6.5-7.5. The plant also likes consistent moisture but not withstanding waterlogged soil.

Gardeners should make sure to use trellises so that the plant can have support to climb. Potential Pest and Disease Issues:

One of the potential diseases to watch out for is Clematis Wilt, which can cause plant stem lesions, premature foliage and flower drop, and sometimes destroy the entire plant from the base.

This affliction typically occurs during warm, wet conditions. Planting and Maintenance Tips:

When planting Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington,’ one should dig a hole twice the size of the pot it comes in.

This size gives the roots ample space to spread out. Keep the soil moist, weed-free, and fertilize the plant on occasion.

Late winter or early spring is the ideal planting time. The plant can be pruned to a few inches off the ground, which encourages new growth and healthy roots.

Gardeners should also avoid planting other plants too close to the Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ plant as they might fight for resources or crowd the vine out. Conclusion:

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is a unique type of plant that will offer long-lasting and vibrant color to your garden.

With the above gardening tips, this plant is relatively easy to look after and will reward garden enthusiasts with a showy and aromatic garden all summer. Whether you want to attract wildlife or make your garden stand out with beautiful purple blooms, Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is the perfect plant for you.

Plant Propagation Methods: Sexual and Asexual Reproduction

Propagating plants is fun and easy, and it is a great way to grow new plants without buying them from a nursery. There are two primary methods of plant propagation: sexual and asexual reproduction.

Sexual Reproduction:

Sexual reproduction is a process where two parent plants combine genetic material to create a unique offspring. The most common method of sexual reproduction is through seeds.

It involves the transfer of pollen from the male reproductive organs to the female reproductive organs, which produces a seed. During the process, the genetic material is combined from two different plants, providing diversity in the offspring.

Plants reproduce sexually through cross-pollination or self-pollination. Cross-pollination happens when pollen from one plant lands on the stigma of another plant, fertilizing it.

Self-pollination happens when a plants own pollen fertilizes its stigma. One of the critical factors to get successful seed germination is a balance of water, oxygen, and warmth.

After the plant blossoms, seeds emerge out, and the conditions outside affect the growth of the seeds. A seeds external environment will determine whether germination will occur or not.

Asexual Reproduction:

Asexual reproduction is a process where the plant propagates without the involvement of any genetic material from another plant. It can occur naturally in plants that can reproduce vegetatively, such as strawberries, asparagus, and potatoes.

There are several common methods of asexual reproduction such as cutting, layering, and division. 1.


This method of propagation is one of the most common ways to propagate plants. This method involves removing a portion of the plant stem and ensuring that it develops roots.

Before propagating, gardeners need to make sure that the mother plant is healthy. A plant cutting needs to grow into an independent plant that is genetically identical to the parent plant.

2. Layering:

Layering is essentially rooting a new plant while it is still attached to the mother plant.

It involves taking a branch and burying a part of it into the soil. The buried portion should be cut or scratched to allow roots to grow.

The plant should eventually develop roots and then be cut off from the mother plant. 3.


Division is a method used for plants that develop from tubers or bulbs such as hostas, lilies, and irises. The process involves digging up the parent plant and breaking it into smaller plants.

The smaller plants can then be transplanted to another part of the garden.

Plant Adaptations to Different Environments

Plants are highly adaptable, and their physical features play a significant role in their ability to survive in various environments. Here are some adaptations plants have made to survive in different conditions.

Adaptations to Low Water:

Plants that grow in arid regions have several adaptations that enable them to conserve water. These adaptations include:


Leaves with small surface areas to reduce water loss by transpiration

2. Thick, waxy cuticles that prevent water evaporation from the plant’s surface


A deep root system to absorb water from deep underground sources

4. Drought-tolerant plants that can store water in their leaves

Adaptations to High Water:

Plants that grow in areas with high water, such as swamps and wetlands, have several adaptations that enable them to survive.

These adaptations include:

1. The ability to float on water, such as lily pads


The ability to absorb oxygen through aerial roots, such as mangroves

3. Leaves with channels that allow air to enter and exit quickly, such as cattails


Spongy leaves and stems that allow for water storage, such as water hyacinth

Adaptations to Cold Climatic Conditions:

Plants that grow in cold conditions have several adaptations that enable them to survive. These adaptations include:


Thick layers of insulation on the stems and leaves, such as Arctic Willow or Wintergreen

2. The ability to trap and retain heat, such as skunk cabbage


The ability to limit water loss by adopting a low, spreading growth form

4. The ability to grow underground, such as some bulb plants

Adaptations to Windy Climatic Conditions:

Plants that grow in windy conditions have several adaptations that enable them to survive.

These adaptations include:

1. Flexible and elastic stems, such as bamboo


Ability to reduce leaf size to prevent leaf damage, such as Pinyon Pine

3. Ability to grow close to the ground, such as succulent plants


Developing thorns or spines, such as cacti

In conclusion, understanding the different methods of plant propagation and plant adaptations helps us appreciate plants’ vast diversity, their resilience, and their ability to thrive in various environmental conditions. By taking care of plants, they can heal our planet and contribute to a better world.

Usage of Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ in Indoor and Outdoor Settings:

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is a stunning flowering vine that adds an elegant touch to gardens. While it’s only natural to imagine this plant outside, it can also thrive indoors.

In this article, we will dive into the usage of Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ in indoor and outdoor settings. Usage of Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ in Indoor Settings:

Plant lovers that are new to gardening or have small spaces should consider growing Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ indoors.

The plant can be trained on a trellis mounted onto a wall or grown in a pot. When choosing a pot, make sure it’s at least 12 inches deep so that the roots have enough space to grow.

The pot should also have holes at the bottom for drainage to avoid overwatering. Choose a good quality potting mix that will drain well and provide the plant with enough nutrients.

Gardeners should also make sure that the plant receives at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. Growing Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ indoors gives gardeners the freedom to admire its beauty all year round.

It’s also an excellent option for gardeners who live in regions where the plant might not thrive outdoors. When pot-grown, the plant also needs consistent moisture to thrive.

Avoid placing the plant near sources of cold or heat such as air conditioning units and vents, as the fluctuation in temperature can cause the plant to suffer. Usage of Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ in Outdoor Settings:

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is an excellent plant for outdoor settings and can bring life and color to any garden.

The plant needs the right planting conditions, such as fertile soil that is well-draining, and a trellis or structure for support. When planting, make sure there is a distance of at least 3 feet between the plant and the trellis or structure, which will prevent the plant from being too crowded.

Ensure that the plant receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. When grown outdoors, Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is an excellent plant for vertical gardening.

The plant can climb along trellises, fences, or walls, adding a touch of elegance and beauty to the space. Gardeners should perform regular maintenance, such as pruning, to keep the plant in good condition.

Pruning should be done once a year, around late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. By removing any dead or weak parts, gardeners can encourage vigorous and healthy growth.

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is a perfect plant for gardeners who wish to attract wildlife to their garden. The plant’s large flowers and sweet fragrance draw hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.

The foliage provides a protective cover for birds during harsh weather conditions. Conclusion:

Overall, Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is a versatile plant that can be used both indoors and outdoors.

For indoor gardening, the plant requires proper conditions such as sufficient sunlight, well-draining soil, and consistent moisture. When growing outdoors, the plant needs proper support, care, and maintenance, such as pruning.

Regardless of the setting, this plant is a beautiful addition to any garden, providing a spectacular floral display and attracting wildlife. Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is an ideal plant for both novice and experienced gardeners, and it’s a great way to bring a little bit of nature indoors or outdoors, no matter where you live.

Toxicity of Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ to Pets, Horses, and Humans:

While Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is a beautiful flowering plant that adds immense beauty to gardens, it is important to note that it is toxic to pets, horses, and humans. Toxicity of Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ to Pets:

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ contains toxins such as ranunculin and protoanemonin that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in pets such as dogs and cats.

These toxins cause irritation to the mouth, tongue, and throat, leading to drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, the plant can lead to respiratory difficulties and kidney problems.

Pet owners should ensure that their pets do not ingest any parts of the plant by keeping them away from it. Toxicity of Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ to Horses:

Horses are susceptible to Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ toxicities, with the plant containing toxic substances that affect the digestive system when ingested.

Horses that graze around the plant may experience symptoms such as colic, diarrhea, and even death. Horse owners should ensure that their animals are kept away from the plant by either removing it from the area or fencing off the plant.

Toxicity of Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ to Humans:

Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is toxic to humans and can cause skin irritation if handled roughly. The sap of the plant contains chemical compounds that can cause redness, itchiness, blisters, or burns on the skin.

Humans working in direct contact with the plant should wear gloves to avoid any skin irritation. In conclusion, while Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is a gorgeous plant that adds life and beauty to gardens and indoor spaces, pet owners, horse owners, and people should be cautious when handling the plant.

It is important to keep pets and horses away from the plant and wear gloves when handling Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ to prevent skin irritation. By taking the necessary precautions, gardeners and individuals can enjoy this plant’s splendor without putting themselves or their animals at risk.

In conclusion, Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ is a stunning plant that adds beauty and elegance to both indoor and outdoor settings. However, it is essential to be mindful of the plant’s toxicity to pets, horses, and humans.

Gardeners must cultivate and care for the plant using proper techniques, such as propagation methods and adapting it to different environments. It is also crucial to take precautions when handling the plant.

By doing so, both novice and experienced gardeners can enjoy the natural beauty of Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington.’


Q: Is Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ toxic to pets? A: Yes, the plant contains toxins such as ranunculin and protoanemonin that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in pets such as drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Q: Can horses graze near Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’? A: No, the plant is toxic to horses and can cause symptoms such as colic, diarrhea, and even death.

Q: Can Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ be grown indoors? A: Yes, Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ can be grown indoors with adequate sunlight, a pot with sufficient drainage, and well-draining soil.

Q: How should Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ be maintained in outdoor settings? A: Regular pruning an adequate trellis to support the plant is necessary for healthy growth.

Q: Can humans touch Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ without gloves? A: It’s highly recommended that humans wear gloves while handling the plant to prevent skin irritation due to the sap’s chemical compound.

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