Little Duckling Clematis 'Piilu' (EL)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
clematis 'Piilu'


Clematis 'Piilu', commonly known as the "Little Duckling", is a stunning variety of clematis that boasts an impressive display of flowers. The blooms are notable for their two-toned appearance, where the outer layer of the petals typically presents a pale pink hue while the margins may be highlighted with a deeper pink border. The petals, numbering four to six, sometimes more on subsequent blooms, elegantly surround a contrasting center of creamy yellow stamens that create a striking visual appeal when the plant is in full bloom. These flowers are often quite large and are renowned for their prolific blooming nature. They can cover the vine in a profusion of color, creating a spectacle of floral beauty. The blooms start appearing in the late spring or early summer and can continue to produce new flowers through late summer, occasionally even into early autumn, gracing the garden with their continuous display. The plant itself is a climber, using its leaf petioles to wrap around supports, which allows it to scale structures such as trellises, arbors, or fences. The foliage of 'Piilu' is a bright green, providing a lush background that compliments the pastel flowers. The leaves are compound, typically with a trio of leaflets that are toothed on the edges. When not in bloom, the vine remains an attractive garden feature thanks to its greenery. As the seasons transition, the plant may lose its leaves during dormancy in colder climates, but with the arrival of the warmer months, it bursts back into life, ready to showcase its magnificent floral display once again.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Early Large-flowered Clematis, Double Flowered Clematis, Little Duckling

    • Common names

      Clematis 'Piilu' (EL).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Clematis 'Piilu', commonly known as Clematis, may cause mild toxicity if ingested by humans. Symptoms of poisoning can include salivation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, there might be mouth irritation and ulcers from the glycoside content, which is irritating to the mucous membranes. Contact with the skin may also result in dermatitis for some individuals. It is advisable to avoid ingesting any part of the Clematis plant and to wear gloves when handling it to prevent skin reactions.

    • To pets

      Clematis, which includes the 'Piilu' variety, can be toxic to pets if ingested. The plant contains compounds that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, and in some cases, ataxia (loss of coordination). The severity of symptoms may depend on the amount consumed. Cats are particularly sensitive to the glycoside compounds in Clematis. Always keep Clematis out of the reach of pets and monitor for any signs of distress if you suspect they have consumed any part of the plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 feet (1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      3 feet (0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Flowers: Clematis 'Piilu' is known for its beautiful, large blooms which can add a vibrant splash of color to gardens and outdoor spaces.
    • Compact Growth: With a moderate growing habit, it's well-suited for small gardens or container planting.
    • Long Blooming Period: It can have a lengthy blooming season, often flowering from late spring to early autumn.
    • Climbing Ability: This clematis can climb up trellises, walls, and other supports, making it a good choice for vertical gardening.
    • Versatility: 'Piilu' can be used in a variety of garden settings, including borders, arbors, and pergolas.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers can attract beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies to the garden.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Clematis 'Piilu' requires relatively little care, making it a convenient option for many gardeners.
    • Pruning Flexibility: It can be pruned after the first flowering to encourage a second flush of blooms.
    • Hardiness: It is reasonably hardy and can withstand cold temperatures in many climate zones.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Clematis 'Piilu' can be used in floral art for its striking blossoms, becoming a focal point in arrangements or as a vibrant addition to wreaths.
    • The vines of Piilu can be trained to climb over unsightly structures or to cover up walls, adding aesthetic value to the garden.
    • When dried, the seed heads of Piilu can be used in decorative crafts, adding texture and interest to your creative projects.
    • Children can use the plant's climbing nature to create living play forts or secret garden nooks in the backyard.
    • Gardeners can utilize Piilu as a living screen to provide privacy from neighbors or as a green background for photographing other garden highlights.
    • The vine's fast-growing nature can be used to provide rapid coverage for trellises in outdoor event venues, giving a lush backdrop for special occasions.
    • Piilu can be incorporated in companion planting to enhance garden biodiversity and to help support climbing structures for vegetable plants like beans and peas.
    • Garden educators may use Piilu as an example in horticultural classes to teach pruning techniques and vine management.
    • The unique double blossoms of Piilu can serve as an inspiration for artists and designers, influencing patterns and motifs for fabrics and wallpaper.
    • Adventurous culinary enthusiasts might use the clematis petals as a colorful, though non-edible, garnish for presentation purposes in high-end cuisine.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Clematis 'Piilu', commonly known as Clematis, is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Clematis 'Piilu', commonly known as Clematis, is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Mental Agility: Clematis 'Piilu' often symbolizes astuteness and quick thinking, much like its vines that reach and climb quickly, aligning with the idea of rapid intellectual growth and adaptability.
    • Artistic Inspiration: Due to its showy and intricate flowers, Clematis 'Piilu' is sometimes associated with creativity and inspiration, mirroring the muse-like stimulation it provides to gardeners and artists alike.
    • Personal Growth: The plant’s ability to climb and cover structures mirrors the concept of growth and development in a person’s life, representative of one's journey towards achieving higher goals.
    • Ingenuity: The resourcefulness of Clematis 'Piilu' in using other plants and structures for support can symbolize human ingenuity and the ability to utilize available resources to one's advantage.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For the Little Duckfoot vine, they should be watered deeply once a week, allowing for the top inch of the soil to dry out between waterings. During the growing season, this usually equates to approximately one gallon of water per plant each week. In especially hot or dry weather, you may need to water more frequently, while in cooler or rainy periods, less water might be required. Always check the soil moisture before watering to avoid overwatering, which could harm the plant.

  • sunLight

    The Little Duckfoot vine thrives best in a location with full sun to partial shade. Ideally, it should receive around six hours of sunlight daily. A spot that is well-lit in the morning with some afternoon shade would be excellent, as intense heat in the afternoon can sometimes be too harsh for the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Little Duckfoot vine is hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures but grows best when temperatures are between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive temperatures down to around 20 degrees Fahrenheit but should be protected from severe frost. Ideally, avoid exposing the vine to temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit for prolonged periods to prevent stress on the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    The Little Duckfoot vine benefits from pruning to encourage bushier growth and more blooms. It should be pruned in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Prune back to healthy buds to shape the plant and remove any dead or weak stems. Different groups of clematis require different pruning techniques, so it is important to know which type you have to prune correctly.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Clematis, also known as Little Duckling, thrives in a well-drained, fertile soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH between 6.5 and 7.5. A good soil mix can be created by blending equal parts of garden soil, compost or well-rotted manure, and gritty material like perlite or sand to improve drainage. It is vital that the root area remains cool and shaded while the plant can climb into the sun.

  • plantRepotting

    Little Duckling clematis does not need to be repotted regularly and can thrive in the same container for several years. It is typically only necessary to repot if the plant outgrows its current container or if the soil becomes exhausted. Check the plant every 2 to 3 years and repot in spring if necessary, using the soil mix mentioned before.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Little Duckling clematis prefers to be in an environment with moderate humidity but is quite adaptable and doesn't require high humidity to thrive. Avoiding too dry or excessively humid conditions is suitable for this plant; average ambient humidity will suffice.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, cool roots, and ample support to climb.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sun to part shade, with shaded roots and a structure to climb.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Clematis 'Piilu', also known as 'Little Duckling', begins its life cycle as a seed or more commonly from a cutting or a nursery-grown plant. Once planted, it enters a phase of vegetative growth, establishing an extensive root system and vigorous stems. During spring and summer, 'Piilu' produces an abundance of large, pink and cream bicolored flowers, first on the previous year's stems and then on new growth, which makes it a double blooming clematis. Post flowering, the plant forms fluffy seed heads, which release seeds that can germinate to create new plants, though propagation by cuttings is generally more reliable. In the autumn, 'Little Duckling' Clematis may go dormant, with leaves falling off as it prepares for winter. Come spring, it breaks dormancy and the cycle restarts, with new shoots emerging from the woody stems or crown trying to support another season of growth and bloom.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • The Clematis 'Piilu', commonly known as the Clematis "Little Duckling," is best propagated through softwood cuttings, a method frequently used in the early summer when new growth is pliable and yet not fully matured. To propagate, one should take a 4-6 inch cutting just below a set of leaves, strip the bottommost leaves to expose the nodes, and dip the end in rooting hormone. Then, the cutting should be placed in a pot with well-draining potting mix, ensuring that the nodes where the leaves were removed are buried in the soil. The cutting should be kept under high humidity conditions, which can be achieved by covering the pot with a plastic bag or placing it in a propagator. In about 6 to 8 weeks, the cutting should have rooted, and after the establishment of a strong root system, it can be transplanted.