Old Man’s Beard

"Old Man's Beard" Clematis Vitalba

Scientific name: Clematis vitalba

Common names: Old man’s beard

Description: Old man’s beard is a vigorous woody vine that can grow up to 65 feet long. This native of Europe, Africa, and Asia can both act as a ground cover and climb trees and shrubs. Its smooth to lobed leaves have five leaflets and its flowers are creamy white. As the vines mature, the bark changes from an appearance of six longitudinal ridges to shredded. Old man’s beard is most often found in disturbed areas, along forest edges, and in partially sunny forest stands.

Impact: Old man’s beard is able to smother and kill trees, reduce native biodiversity in the understory, and increase fire risk. Older vines can grow up to 30 feet per year, giving them a competitive advantage over more slow-growing native plants. It is a prolific seed producer (over 100,000 seeds per plant) and can also propagate through the dispersal of vegetative fragments. If you come across this invasive plant in the county, please contact our office at 503-325-4571.

Source: KingCounty.gov

For more information, please visit the Noxious Weed resources at KingCounty.gov: http://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/animals-and-plants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/old-mans-beard.aspx