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Traveller's Joy
Clematis vitalba
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Clematis
Species: C. vitalba
Binomial name
Clematis vitalba
L. (1753)

Clematis vitalba (also known as Old man's beard and Traveller's Joy) is a shrub of the Ranunculaceae family.


Clematis vitalba is a climbing shrub with branched, grooved stems, deciduous leaves, and scented greeny-white flowers with fluffy underlying sepals. The many fruits formed in each inflorescence have long silky appendages which, seen together, give the characteristic appearance of Old Man's beard. The grooves along the stems of C. vitalba can easily be felt when handling the plant.

The flowers of this species are eaten by the larvae of moths including The V-Pug and Double-striped Pug and the leaves by Willow Beauty.


In New Zealand it is declared an "unwanted organism" and is listed in the National Pest Plant Accord. It cannot be sold, propagated or distributed. It is a potential threat to native plants since it grows vigorously and forms a canopy which smothers all other plants and has no natural controlling organisms in New Zealand. New Zealand native species of Clematis have smooth stems and can easily be differentiated from C. vitalba by touch

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Unassigned Eudicots
Ordo: Ranunculales
Familia: Ranunculaceae
Subfamilia: Ranunculoideae
Tribus: Anemoneae
Genus: Clematis
Subgenus: C. subg. Clematis
Sectio: C. sect. Clematis
Subsectio: C. subsect. Clematis
Series: C. ser. Clematis
Species: Clematis vitalba
Varietas: C. v. var.  angustiloba - C. v. var.  vitalba


Clematis vitalba L., Sp. Pl. 544. 1753.


  • Anemone vitalba (L.) E.H.L.Krause, Deutschl. Fl. (Sturm), ed. 2 5: 303. 1901.
  • Clematis vitalba subsp. normalis Kuntze Verh. Bot. Ver. Brand. 26: 101. 1885.
  • Clematis vitalba α typica Beck, Fl. Nied. Osterr. 1:411. 1890.
  • Clematitis vitalba (L.) Moench, Meth. : 296. 1794.



  • Species Plantarum 1:544. 1753
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]

Vernacular names

Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Clematis vitalba on Wikimedia Commons.

Simple English

Old man’s beard (the scientific name is Clematis vitalba) is a fast growing vine that covers and strangles trees and shrubs. To kill the tree or shrub it covers them and doesn't let them get any light from the sun that it needs to grow so then it dies.


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