Clematis Flammula

Also known as:
Fragrant Virgin's Bower
Eurasia, North Africa

General description

Deciduous, climbing, vine up to 6 m tall. Stems, long, woody, round and weakly ribbed. Leaves opposite, and compound (bi-pinnate), falling in autumn. Leaflets thick, sparsely hairy, entire (rarely 2-lobed). Flowers 2-3 cm diam, white, in large bunches, Jan-Mar. Seeds hairy, 5-6 mm long; with distinctive white-plumes, 3-4 cm long, in dense, fluffy clusters, May.


Wind or water-borne seed. Also via dumped vegetation and stem layering. Common in gardens.

Smothers and kills all plants to mid-canopy, prevents recruitment. Moves readily into shrubland and forest margins by layering.

Site management

Do not leave cut stems to mulch. Dispose by burning, soak in herbicide or deep bury. Replant bared areas promptly to minimise seedling regrowth. Check for seedlings at least 6-monthly.

Recommended approaches

1. Slash thick stems at 1 m and ground level (to prevent stump resprouting and aerial roots attaching from hanging stems). Stump paint with herbicide (1 g metsulfuron/L or 100ml Tordon BK/L, or 100ml triclopyr/L, or 200ml 2,4-D plus dicamba/L). Leave stems in air to die. Dispose of cut-away segments. All year round.
2. Use vial treatment - good for ground infestations. Pull up all stems possible and dispose. Treat remainder (1g metsulfuron/20 ml, 5-10 m apart). All year round.
3. Spray spring - autumn (125ml clopyralid/10L (Do not use clopyralid in home gardens) or 40ml triclopyr/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

old man's beard
Clematis vitalba

Old man's beard has pinnate leaves rather than the bi-pinnate leaves of Clematis flammula.

Clematis paniculata

Native Clematis spp are evergreen, have 3 leaflets, much larger flowers, flower in spring not summer, have smooth or slightly rough bark that is not ribbed.

Search tags

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
Clematis flammula - Main species image