Clematis vitalba

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaRanunculaceaeClematisClematis vitalba


A climbing perennial with liana-like woody stems, often covering large areas on hedge banks, hedges and walls, trees and scrub, sand dunes, disused quarry faces and ruins. It is a classic railway plant. On base-rich soils, or utilising lime mortar, the plant can form virtual monocultures. The familiar feathered propagules, `Old Man`s Beard`, disperse readily, and often colonise new cuttings or banks. 0-305 m (N. of Matlock, Derbys.).



World Distribution

European Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

Broad Habitats

Boundary and linear features (eg hedges, roadsides, walls)

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16

Annual Precipitation (mm): 815

Height (cm): 3000

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Mega-, meso- and microphanerophyte



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 954

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: 0

Weighted Changed Factor: -1

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (19d)
Jalas & Suominen (1989)
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.