The Clematis I planted last year is really having a growth spirt this year!! There was little interest in clematis until the 1850s when many were crossed and improved. Plants from Japan and China became the parents of many hybrids. Much breeding occurred in Britain, France, Belgium and Germany until about the 1890s; in fact, more new varieties were introduced during this period than any other in history and many clematis grown today originated then. The leading hybridizer in Britain in the 1860s was the Jackman Nursery, which produced C. x jackmanii (introduced in 1862), still the most popular clematis grown today. In the 1880s, interest in clematis died down. Hybridizers were running out of ideas and the wilt "epidemic" put a damper on cultivation. Today, there is renewed interest in clematis, particularly in very hardy and disease-resistant small-flowered types.