Old Man’s Beard (Clematis Vitalba)


A Climbing Perennial shrub widespread across Southern England and Wales, often found in hedgerows and in open woodland sometimes completely covering shrubs or small trees with long stems and light green leaves.

The dense foliage offers shelter and habitat to Insects, Birds and other wildlife.

In July and August the unmistakable clusters of creamy feathery flowers appear, they provide a food source for the larvae of several species of moth, and give this climbing shrub it’s name Old Man’s Beard.

Old Man’s Beard (Clematis Vitalba) is also known as Traveller’s joy.

Old Mans Beard (Clematis Vitalba) Travellers Joy

Old Man’s Beard (Clematis Vitalba) flower head

Old Man's Beard (Clematis Vitalba) British Native Climbing Shrub

Old Man’s Beard (Clematis Vitalba) clusters of creamy feathery flowers

New Zealand has declared old man’s beard (Clematis Vitalba), as a pest plant or ‘unwanted organism’, with no natural predators it is classed as a serious threat to to the country’s native plant species.

Quick Info

  • Name: Old Man’s Beard (Clematis Vitalba)
  • Family Group: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
  • Type: Deciduous climber.
  • Similar appearance to:
  • Position: Sun semi-shade
  • Length up to: 20m
  • Nectar plant: Gatekeeper Butterfly (Pyronia tithonus) , Meadow Brown, Silver-washed Fritillary, Bees, other insects.
  • Caterpillar food plant: Mottled Beauty (Alcis repandata), Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata)
  • Photographed: 28th August
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