Old Man's Beard (Clematis vitalba)
Old Man's Beard, or Traveller's Joy, Clematis vitalba, is a woody climber common in a country hedge but rarely noticed in spring and early summer as it scrambles through other plants. From July, though, it has drifts of attractive faintly fragrant creamy flowers which are valuable to a range of pollinators in late summer before the plant goes beardy - its feathery wind born fruit clusters.
Clematis vitalba is a valuable plant for wildlife all round. Its seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals, which also use the fluffy fruit extensions to line their nests. Oh, and several moth caterpillars eat its leaves.
Its range used to be limited to the south of England, but it has now spread across most of the country. It can be invasive, so be careful where you plant it - it can grow to 15m! Notwithstanding, it's an attractive and valuable addition to a hedge.
We supply Clematis vitalba in 9cm pots.
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