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  • Clematis vitalba, Birnbeck, September 2003 (Photo: John Crellin)
  • Clematis vitalba, Woodlands, August 2004 (Photo: John Crellin)
  • Clematis vitalba, Woodlands, August 2004 (Photo: John Crellin)
  • Clematis vitalba, Birnbeck, September 2003 (Photo: John Crellin)
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Common name
traveler's-joy (English), Gewoehnliche Waldrebe (German), powojnik pnacy (English, Poland), old man's beard (English), evergreen clematis (English)
Synonym
Similar species
Clematis ligusticifolia, Clematis tibetana, Clematis flammula
Summary
Clematis vitalba is a perennial vine with climbing, woody stems that can grow 20 to 30 metres long. In the native ranges C. vitalba is associated with chalk and limestone areas, but outside of its native range, this species is found in forestlands and in the margins and openings of forested lands. It is also found in riparian areas established with willows, in waste areas, and in coastal and lowland areas. This species physically smothers and collapses indigenous forest and causes a loss of indigenous plant species. When this loss occurs there is an influx of exotic plants into gaps or grazing damage by livestock. Control using a combination of mechanical and chemical methods can be effective but is very expensive. Much research is being conducted in the hopes of discovering biological means to control this species.
Species Description
Clematis vitalba is described as a perennial vine with climbing, woody stems. It can grow 20 to 30 metres long. The leaf arrangement is opposite. The leaves are pinnately compound, consisting of usually 5 leaflets. The leaflet margins are usually entire, but the upper leaflet is sometimes 3-lobed. This species is deciduous. The flowers are white to greenish-white, and they are about 2cm in diameter. The inflorescence of C. vitalba is a terminal axillary panicle - the flowers are found in stalked clusters of the upper leaf axils. Each individual flower is perfect, they contain both male and female flower structures (stamens and pistils). The flowers do not have petals - they are composed of 4 sepals, many stamens and many styles. Some stamens can be non-fertile, and some are petaloid. The styles are plumose (feathery), and they are long, white and persistent. The fruit is an achene (The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, 2003).
Lifecycle Stages
The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board (2003) states that, \"Clematis vitalba is a woody, perennial vine, with annual leaf loss (deciduous). Flowers are visible throughout most of the summer. The whitish, fluffy seed heads are visible in the fall and winter (as are the leaves for several weeks in fall (autumn)- bright yellow (Colin Ogle., pers.comm., 2005) Seeds fall sporadically over the winter, which may contribute to a seed bank.\"
Uses
Clematis vitalba is grown as an ornamental species in Europe, and its English common names are old man's beard or traveller's joy (Hill et al. 2001). The Plants For A Future Database (2003) reports that, \"Young shoots can be cooked and used like hop shoots (Humulus lupulus), but that caution is advised due to reports of toxicity.\" The authors also state that, \"The leaves are analgesic, diuretic and rubefacient. The boiled roots and stems are used as a cure for the itch. When applied in the nostrils, the plant juice has been used to relieve migraine attacks, but it can also destroy the mucous membranes. The plant should not be taken internally because it is poisonous.\" The authors report that, \"The stems can be used in basketry.\"
Habitat Description
In the native ranges of Wales and southern England, Clematis vitalba is associated with chalk and limestone areas. Low calcium levels impede, or delay the growth. In central Europe this species is found in soils ranging from weakly acidic to weakly basic, and it requires highly fertile soils with good drainage. The climate of the native ranges is temperate and moist. Limiting factors in native ranges include an annual rainfall of less than 800mm (31.5 inches), and the low summer temperatures of the higher elevations. Outside of its native range, this species is found in forest lands and in the margins and openings of forested lands. It is also found in riparian areas established with willows, in waste areas, and in coastal and lowland areas (Cronk and Fuller, 1995). In Washington State, C. vitalba is found west of the Cascade Mountains. Bungard et al. (1999) state that, \"C. vitalba tends to favours soils with moderate to high fertility, calcareous soils, and recently disturbed soils where it can be expected that NO3 is the dominant form of plant-available N (Haynes, 1986).\" Infestations of C. vitalba occur in forest reserves, gardens, road margins and other places around Taihape in New Zealand (Ogle et al. 2000), infestations of C. vitalba occur in every region of New Zealand except Northland (north of Auckland).
Reproduction
The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board (2003) states that, \"Clematis vitalba matures faster in full sunlight, and seed production is possible after one to three years, depending on the exposure to full sunlight. Asexual reproduction is possible after one year. An estimated 17,000 viable seeds are produced per 0.5m² in areas where C. vitalba is a canopy species. Seed dispersal is by wind, water, people and animals. C. vitalba is wind pollinated and insect pollinated. The filaments produce nectar, which attract insect pollinators. Several bee species and flies are attracted to the pollen and nectar. C. vitalba can also spread by fragmentation, when roots are produced from stem fragments and from attached stems. Vegetative spread by fragmentation occurs more often from older plants, since the older stem tissue holds more water and it has higher carbohydrate reserves (Cronk and Fuller, 1995).\"
Nutrition
Hume et al. (1995) conducted an in-depth study of the nutritional requirements of Clematis vitalba. The authors found that, \"The nutritional requirements of the naturalised vine, C. vitalba, were investigated in order to determine soil factors which might restrict its growth. Topsoil samples (0-10cm), collected from 19 sites where C. vitalba has naturally established in New Zealand, had moderately acid to near neutral pH values, high to very high percentage base saturation, and medium to very high concentrations of the exchangeable cations Ca, Mg, and K, but tended to have low plant-available P and phosphate-extractable sulphate concentrations. Extractable-Al concentrations were very low. Profile descriptions at these sites showed that almost all soils were being or had been rejuvenated by alluvium, colluvium, or tephra. The soils had few physical impediments to root growth, so plants were readily able to exploit the soils and their nutrients. The addition of Fe was found to depress root growth. The growth and spread of C. vitalba may be restricted by extremely acid soil conditions and by very low concentrations of N, P, Ca, S, and possibly Mn in the soil. However, it does not appear to be unusually sensitive to soil acidity or nutrient deficiencies.\"
Pathway
Movement of gravel containing the seed to new sites for road and railway making.

Principal source: Ogle et al. 2000 Impact of an exotic vine Clematis vitalba (F. Ranunculaceae) and of control measures on plant biodiversity in indigenous forest, Taihape, New Zealand.
Old Man's Beard (Clematis vitalba L.) (Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, 2003)

Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Colin Ogle, Ecology Consultant. Wanganui, New Zealand.

Publication date: 2005-12-15

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Clematis vitalba. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=157 on 28-07-2016.

General Impacts
Hill et al. (2001) report that, \"Vines can climb the tallest forest trees, forming a dense, light-absorbing canopy that suppresses all vegetation beneath it. C. vitalba can be so vigorous that the weight of foliage and stems breaks the supporting trees, reducing once-healthy forest to a low, long-lived thicket of vines scrambling over stumps and logs\". However Ogle et al. (2000) observe that the vines ascend to the canopy of forest but are unable to climb large diameter emergent trees unless shrubs and smaller trees provide a series of ‘stepping stones’ to the crown of tall trees. Their study findings (study area Taihape reserve, New Zealand) indicate that the numbers and variety of understorey trees and shrubs that have been severely reduced following the infestation of C. vitalba correlates with observations of the growth habit of C. vitalba. Ogle et al. showed e.g. that not a single canopy tree species had been lost from the Taihape Reserves though 25% or so of the understorey trees and shrubs species had been lost.
Management Info
Physical: Early control in New Zealand focussed on the cutting of vines followed by chemical treatment, later introducing grazing sheep to help control regrowth (Ogle et al., 2000). Stem bases or roots can be dug out in winter, and seedlings can be manually removed (Martin, 2001).

Chemical: Various methods of chemical control have been used in New Zealand to treat C. vitalba. These include cutting and treating with 2,4,5-T in the 1970s, and a combination of 2,4,5-T and multi-film penetrant. In the 1980s-1990s, the infestation of C. vitalba in Taihape was controlled using a combination of glyphosate application and sheep grazing to control regrowth. 2% glyphosate such as RoundUp™ is recommended to control new growth in spring following the cutting of vines in winter, and seedheads can be sprayed with metsulfuron methyl (Escort™) or glyphosate.

Biological: Hill et al. (2001) report that, \"Concern about the damage caused by C. vitalba in New Zealand grew during the 1970s, and biological control was first suggested by Syrett (1984). The search in Europe for insect biological control agents started in 1989 when the International Institute of Biological Control (IIBC) at Delemont, Switzerland, compiled a literature review, and began a field survey to identify insects that attacked Clematis species in central Europe. Eighty-one phytophagous species were recorded, including 31 insect, 4 mite, and 4 nematode species that were regarded as monophagous or oligophagous (Groppe, 1991; Wittenberg & Groppe, 1991, 1992). Four Phytomyza species (Diptera: Agromyzidae) that mine the leaves and shoots of Clematis species were included in that list. Although not the most host-specific, Phytomyza vitalbae was selected for further study because it was the only species that was sometimes common and damaging in Europe\". Hill et al. (2001) further state that, \"There is a risk that P. vitalbae will attack both native and ornamental Clematis species in New Zealand. C. foetida appears to be the native species most likely to be attacked in New Zealand. However, the results presented here strongly indicate that the risk of significant damage to non-target plants is negligible to low. P. vitalbae was released from quarantine in New Zealand in 1996. It is considered to be established at 20 of the 29 release sites, and populations have grown rapidly at those sites. They have spread 5 km within 15 months at one site\". There is no information available in regards to any success P. vitalbae has had in damaging the aggressive populations of C. vitalba in New Zealand.

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Clematis vitalba
ALIEN RANGE
NATIVE RANGE
  • afghanistan
  • albania
  • algeria
  • armenia
  • austria
  • azerbaijan
  • belgium
  • bulgaria
  • cyprus
  • czech republic
  • france
  • georgia
  • germany
  • greece
  • hungary
  • iran, islamic republic of
  • italy
  • lebanon
  • netherlands
  • portugal
  • romania
  • russian federation
  • serbia and montenegro
  • spain
  • switzerland
  • syrian arab republic
  • turkey
  • ukraine
  • united kingdom
Informations on Clematis vitalba has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Clematis vitalba in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Hill et al. (2001) report that, \"Vines can climb the tallest forest trees, forming a dense, light-absorbing canopy that suppresses all vegetation beneath it. C. vitalba can be so vigorous that the weight of foliage and stems breaks the supporting trees, reducing once-healthy forest to a low, long-lived thicket of vines scrambling over stumps and logs\". However Ogle et al. (2000) observe that the vines ascend to the canopy of forest but are unable to climb large diameter emergent trees unless shrubs and smaller trees provide a series of ‘stepping stones’ to the crown of tall trees. Their study findings (study area Taihape reserve, New Zealand) indicate that the numbers and variety of understorey trees and shrubs that have been severely reduced following the infestation of C. vitalba correlates with observations of the growth habit of C. vitalba. Ogle et al. showed e.g. that not a single canopy tree species had been lost from the Taihape Reserves though 25% or so of the understorey trees and shrubs species had been lost.
Red List assessed species 0:
Locations
NEW ZEALAND
POLAND
UNITED STATES
Mechanism
[3] Competition
Outcomes
[3] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Reduction in native biodiversity
  • [1] Habitat degradation
  • [1] Modification of successional patterns
[2] Environmental Species - Population
  • [2] Reduces/inhibits the growth of other species
Management information
Physical: Early control in New Zealand focussed on the cutting of vines followed by chemical treatment, later introducing grazing sheep to help control regrowth (Ogle et al., 2000). Stem bases or roots can be dug out in winter, and seedlings can be manually removed (Martin, 2001).

Chemical: Various methods of chemical control have been used in New Zealand to treat C. vitalba. These include cutting and treating with 2,4,5-T in the 1970s, and a combination of 2,4,5-T and multi-film penetrant. In the 1980s-1990s, the infestation of C. vitalba in Taihape was controlled using a combination of glyphosate application and sheep grazing to control regrowth. 2% glyphosate such as RoundUp™ is recommended to control new growth in spring following the cutting of vines in winter, and seedheads can be sprayed with metsulfuron methyl (Escort™) or glyphosate.

Biological: Hill et al. (2001) report that, \"Concern about the damage caused by C. vitalba in New Zealand grew during the 1970s, and biological control was first suggested by Syrett (1984). The search in Europe for insect biological control agents started in 1989 when the International Institute of Biological Control (IIBC) at Delemont, Switzerland, compiled a literature review, and began a field survey to identify insects that attacked Clematis species in central Europe. Eighty-one phytophagous species were recorded, including 31 insect, 4 mite, and 4 nematode species that were regarded as monophagous or oligophagous (Groppe, 1991; Wittenberg & Groppe, 1991, 1992). Four Phytomyza species (Diptera: Agromyzidae) that mine the leaves and shoots of Clematis species were included in that list. Although not the most host-specific, Phytomyza vitalbae was selected for further study because it was the only species that was sometimes common and damaging in Europe\". Hill et al. (2001) further state that, \"There is a risk that P. vitalbae will attack both native and ornamental Clematis species in New Zealand. C. foetida appears to be the native species most likely to be attacked in New Zealand. However, the results presented here strongly indicate that the risk of significant damage to non-target plants is negligible to low. P. vitalbae was released from quarantine in New Zealand in 1996. It is considered to be established at 20 of the 29 release sites, and populations have grown rapidly at those sites. They have spread 5 km within 15 months at one site\". There is no information available in regards to any success P. vitalbae has had in damaging the aggressive populations of C. vitalba in New Zealand.

Bibliography
29 references found for Clematis vitalba

Managment information
Alien Species in Poland 2006 Clematis vitalba
Summary: Available from: http://www.iop.krakow.pl/ias/Gatunek.aspx?spID=71 [Accessed 18 March 2010]
Bungard, R. A., A. Wingler, J. D. Morton, M. Andrews, M. C. Press, and J. D. Scholes. 1999. Ammonium can stimulate nitrate and nitrite reductase in the absence of nitrate in Clematis vitalba. Plant, Cell and Environment 22: 859-866.
Summary: Background information on species, and its growth patterns.
Environment Waikato. 2002. Old Man�s Beard (Clematis vitalba).
Hill, R. L., r. Wittenberg, and A. H. Gourlay. 2001. Biology and Host Range of Phytomyza vitalbae and its Establishment for the Biological Control of Clematis vitalba in New Zealand. Biocontrol Science and Technology 11: 459-473
Summary: Biological control of species.
Martin, T. 2001.Clematis vitalba . Wildland Invasive Species Team, The Nature Conservancy.
National Pest Plant Accord, 2001. Biosecurity New Zealand.
Summary: The National Pest Plant Accord is a cooperative agreement between regional councils and government departments with biosecurity responsibilities. Under the accord, regional councils will undertake surveillance to prevent the commercial sale and/or distribution of an agreed list of pest plants.
Available from: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests-diseases/plants/accord.htm [Accessed 11 August 2005]
New Zealand Plant Conservation Network, 2005. Unwanted Organisms. Factsheet Clematis vitalba
Ogle, C. C., G. D. La Cock, G. Arnold, and N. Mickleson. 2000. Impact of an exotic vine Clematis vitalba (F. Ranunculaceae) and of control measures on plant biodiversity in indigenous forest, Taihape, New Zealand. Austral Ecology 25: 539-551
Summary: Information on impacts of the species on indigenous forest in New Zealand - forest structure, plant species composition (especially impacts of threatened endemic plant species); history of arrival and spread and of past attempts to control the species; future management suggestions.
Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (RNZIH), 2005. Old man s beard Clematis vitalba
Summary: Available from: http://www.rnzih.org.nz/pages/nppa_066.pdf [Accessed 1 October 2005]
Tasman District Council (TDC) 2001. Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Strategy
Timmins, S.M. 1995. Community groups and weed control for conservation in New Zealand. In: Nature conservation 4: the role of networks (eds D Saunders, J.L. Craig & E.M. Mattiske) pp. 433-50. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Sydney
Summary: Information and case studies on use of public in control of Clematis vitalba in NZ
Ward, B. and Henzell, R. 1999. Gel pruning for the control of invasive vines. ConScience, Department of Conservation, New Zealand.
Summary: Gel pruning is being investigated as an environmentally friendly and effective chemical application system for selectively killing invasive vines.
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. 2003. Old Man s Beard (Clematis vitalba L.). Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Summary: Information on description, economic importance, distribution, habitat, history, growth, and impacts and management of species.
Available from: http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_info/clematis.html [Accessed 08 September 2004]
General information
Atkinson. I.A.E., 1984. Distribution and potential range of old man s beard, Clematis vitalba, in New Zealand. In: The Clematis vitalba threat pp. 6-24. Information series 11, NZ Dept. of Lands and Survey, Wellington.
Summary: Information on distribution and spread in New Zealand
Bungard, R.A.; G. T. Daly; D. L. McNeil; A. V. Jones, 1997. Clematis vitalba in a New Zealand native forest remnant: Does seed germination explain distribution? 1997. New Zealand Journal of Botany. 35 (4): 525-534.
Summary: Information on habitat and causes of establishment.
Hume, L. J., C. J. West, and H. M. Watts. 1995. Nutritional requirements of Clematis vitalba L. (old man s beard). New Zealand Journal of Botany 33(3): 301-313.
Summary: Nutritional requirements of species.
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2004. Online Database Clematis vitalba
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=35085 [Accessed December 31 2004]
Plants For A Future. 2003. Clematis vitalba
Summary: A searchable database and resource and information centre for edible and other useful plants.
Available from: http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Clematis+vitalba&CAN=LATIND [Accessed 31 December 2004]
State and Provincial Weed Coordinators. 2004. Western State and Provincial Weed Lists. Department of Land resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University.
Summary: Web pages that lists the invasive status of species in the United States.
Available from: http://www.weedcenter.org/inv_plant_info/2004_weedlist.htm [Accessed 08 September 2004]
The Canadian Biodiversity Web Site. UNDATED. Traveler s joy, old man s beard, Clematis vitalba. Museums Assistance Program of Heritage Canada.
Summary: Map showing Canadian distribution of species.
Available from: http://www.canadianbiodiversity.mcgill.ca/english/species/plants/plantpages/cle_vit.htm [Accessed 08 September 2004]
USDA-GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network). 2004. Clematis vitalba. National Genetic Resources Program [Online Database] National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
Summary: Information on Distribution and Common Names.
Available from: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl?Clematis+vitalba [Accessed 08 September 2004]
USDA-NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service). 2004. Clematis vitalba. The PLANTS Database Version 3.5 [Online Database] National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA.
Summary: Available from: http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch?mode=Scientific+Name&keywordquery=Clematis+vitalba&go.x=11&go.y=11 [Accessed 08 September 2005]
Webb, C.J., W.R. Sykes, & P.J. Garnock-Jones 1988. Flora of New Zealand. Vol. 4. Botany Division DSIR, Christchurch, NZ.
Summary: NZ s adventive and indigenous species of Clematis are described.
Webb, C.J., W.R. Sykes, P.J. Garnock-Jones & P.J. Brownsey 1995. Checklist of the dicotyledons, gymnosperms and pteridophytes naturalised or casual in New Zealand: additional records 1988-1993. NZ Journal of Botany 33: 151-182.
Summary: Clematis tibetana is distinguished from C. tangutica.
West, C.J. 1992. Ecological studies of Clematis vitalba (old man s beard) in New Zealand. Dept. of Scientific and Industrial Research, Land Resources Vegetation Report No. 736, DSIR, Wellington.
Summary: Information on growth, habitat, dispersal
Contact
The following 1 contacts offer information an advice on Clematis vitalba
Ogle,
Colin
Retired part-time ecological consultant.
Organization:
Address:
22 Forres St, Wanganui. New Zealand
Phone:
Fax: