Traveller's Joy

Clematis vitalba

Old Man's Beard, Wild Clematis, Beggar's Plant, Bind-With, Biting Clematis, Devil's Twine, Hedge Vine, Evergreen Clematis

profile iconRanuncolaceae - Clematis vitalba
by Hectonichus (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 10
A close up of some white Clematis vitalba flowers
profile iconRanuncolaceae - Clematis vitalba
by Hectonichus (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 10
Clematis vitalba is a climbing shrub species in the Ranunculaceae family of buttercups. Its also known by the names old man's bears and travellers joy. This species is deciduous and thus loses its green foliage in the autumn and regrows new leaves in the spring. It has branched, grooved stems and becomes woody with age. Leaves are oval in shape, with toothed edges. Foliage is divided into a pinnate arrangement comprised of between 3-5 oval leaflets, these are oppositely arranged on stems. This plant is a common UK sight, often seen scrambling over hedges. Flowers are white, with a slight yellow tinge, these are produced in clusters and the flowers have prominent, long stamens which extend beyond the 'petals'. Appears to have 4 petals, however these are in fact sepal structures which surround flower buds as a layer of protection. Flowers measure approximately 2cm across, appearing from July to September (UK). They develop into feathery seedheads, coloured white-grey and termed achenes. These are a form of simple, dry fruit containing 1 seed, the pod of which doesn't split to release the seed contents.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Spring

Special features

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

Attracts bees

Special features

Origin

Europe, Eurasia

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand, Compost

Soil PH preference

Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Personality

Family

Ranunculaceae

Flower colour

White
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