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Old Man’s Beard

Clematis vitalba

Plant Description

A deciduous, perennial woody vine with opposite, compound leaves comprised of coarsely toothed ovate to almost heart shaped leaflets and small white to green flowers and fuzzy/feathery-looking dry fruits in heads that stay on the plant through winter.

Plant Details

Life Forms
ODA Listing
Soil and Moisture Conditions
Suggested Actions
Shade Preference
Mature Height 60-90'+
Distribution widespread in western Oregon
Control Cut vines at waist height, dig up and remove lower vines and ground-growing vines.
Reproduction and Spread Aggressive growth and seed production. Can spread by stem fragmentation.
Introduced Introduced to US from Europe as a garden plant.
Look Alikes western white clematis (C. ligusticifolia). C. vitalba has flowers with both male and female parts and C. ligusticifolia has flowers with either male or female parts, but not both.
Impact This creeping vine has the ability to blanket shrubs and trees over 60 feet tall.  Once a tree collapses, the plant continues to grow on the ground in layers several feet thick, thus preventing the regeneration of any vegetation beneath it.  By killing trees and increasing the amount of dead material in forests, old mans beard destroys food sources for native wildlife.
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