Montag, 29. August 2011

Plant of the Day (August 29th, 2011) - Clematis vitalba L.

This time, I want to show you Clematis vitalba L. from the Ranunculaceae family; one of the few Lianas, that are native to Germany. In my country, this plant is known as “Gewöhnliche Waldrebe”, while in English, it's known as “Traveller's Joy”.

C. vitalba - flowers

It's a Liana, which can climb until 30 metres (or 98.4 feet). The climbing shoots are thick and woody. The leaves are pinnate. Each leaflet has an arrow-shaped leaf-blade with a heart-shaped base and a long stalk. They are

C. vitalba - leaves

The inflorescences are terminal panicles with many flowers. Each flower has five white petals and many, thin and long stamens. As with all Ranunculaceae, the ripe fruits of C. vitalba looks a little bit like a morning star. The styli of each fruit become very long after ripening and serve the fruit as propagation organ.

C. vitalba - flowers

C. vitalba is native to Middle Europe , but is also an invasive neophyte in New Zealand. It's a pioneer plant, which settles on clearings or edges of woods but can also be found in many cities on ruderal wastelands or parks. It likes nutrient-rich, calcareous soils and bright, fresh places to grow. This species is also able to kill the plants on that it climbs, because it robs them of the light. 

 C. vitalba - ripe fruits (note the long styli)

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