Clematis aristata, known as Australian clematis, wild clematis, goat's beard or old man's beard, is a climbing shrub of the Ranunculaceae family, found in eastern Australia in dry and wet forests of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. It has attractive star shaped flowers with four narrow tepals of pure white or cream colour up to 70mm across and which can cover shrubs with cascades of blossom in spring and early summer.
The seed borne on the female plants are the typical fluffy seed-heads characteristic of many clematis species. There are separate male and female plants both of which are vigorous leaf climbers with stems that coil round branches and twigs of other plants and themselves and bear flowers which are superficially similar. The leaves are trifoliate with mature leaflets up to 75 mm long.
There are three known varieties:
- var. blanda - with small flowers and twice-divided leaflets which is found from Victoria to Tasmania
- var. dennisae - with red filaments in the flowers and found in eastern Victoria
- var. longiseta - with yellowish hairy flowers found in Queensland
C.aristata is a popular hardy garden plant. It prefers a semi shaded or shaded position and likes cool deep soils and will withstand heavy pruning. It is vigorous and may become a problem by smothering other plants.
Propagation can be carried out from fresh seed and from semi-hardened cuttings.
- Briggs, Barbara G.; Makinson, Robert O. (Bob) (1990). "Clematis aristata R.Br. ex Ker Gawl.". Plantnet - New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Australian National Botanic Gardens- Clematis aristata
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