Clematis (Clematis vitalba)

The Clematis vitalba, also known as clematis, it is a kind of shrub that is part of the buttercup family compound, from Europe. It consists of a climbing shrub which can grow to the same height as trees, in addition to standing out for having a bark that is distinguished by detaching itself in strips. It has leaves composed of a fickle petiole and fragrant white flowers formed by 4 sepals (creating false petals).

Origin of the Clematis vitalba

This shrub is native to Europe, mainly from France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Poland, Hungary, southern Russia, the Netherlands, Albania, Ukraine, Romania, Macedonia, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria; as well as North Africa , specifically North Algeria and also West Asia, specifically North Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

It should be said that within the Iberian Peninsula it is possible to obtain it in most of the territory, either in wooded areas or boundaries and clearings, growing to a greater extent within calcareous and humid lands, especially in uncultivated land. In addition, it can be noted that it blooms in the middle of the warm season (that is, between July and August) around the northern hemisphere.

Clematis characteristics

The Clematis vitalba consists of a vine and lively, which is characterized by a crust that can be pulled into strips; It is a woody vine whose trunks are capable of growing with a diameter of approximately 10cm. Its leaves have sharp, ovate leaflets, few or quite trimmed and make use of other plants for the purpose of sustaining themselves.

Likewise, it should be mentioned that it has an abundant flowering; producing flowers of a pale tone and prominent stamens, which usually give off a slight aroma. In addition, its fruits stand out for being hairy and have long styles like down.

In the same way, the clematis is characterized by accompanying the larger-looking trees to a truly surprising height and when autumn arrives, the seeds are usually quite characteristic, along with extensive feathery edges. It is also a plant with a simple implantation, with a vigorous and fast growth due to a certain level of edaphic humidity.


The extracts that can be obtained through the aerial parts of this plant have been used globally for the purpose of treating inflammatory processes, for example, the different kinds of rheumatism, as well as for the purpose of reducing the states feverish.

The clematis extract is characterized by being bitter and also irritating, in addition to having vesicant and rubefacient properties, being considered bacteriostatic. Likewise, it must be said that because protoanemonin has the ability to be absorbed percutaneously, it could potentially cause poisoning.

And despite what many people tend to believe, the truth is that the ingestion of Clematis could cause not only intense diarrhea, but also kidney damage; Likewise, it can lead to acute poisoning which puts the individual’s life at risk.

In addition, note that, although today is obsolete because of the potential risks involved in their use, the truth is that the Clematis vitalba continues to be used within the world of homeopathy as a tincture made from leaves, fresh stalks and fibers; being applied in the treatment of swollen glands, pustules, swollen testicles and gonorrhea.

And formerly, because of the vesicant power that it has, it used to be used among beggars in order to cause ulcerations on their skin to induce the compassion of passersby; which is why it also became known as beggar’s weed.

In the same way, it should be noted that it is usually used in environmental restorations carried out around deciduous forests, humid thorn bushes, streams and river banks; as well as on slopes both in the sun and in partial shade, which have some humidity. Also, within gardening it is often used as a climbing plant in order to cover riverbanks in places that are relatively humid and have a support that allows them to climb.


Broadly speaking, it can be said that Clematis vitalba stands out for being able to tolerate any kind of substrates. However, it is a shrub that mainly prefers deep soils, but it should be noted that it does not need a soil that has great drainage and also perfectly supports severe pruning.

In any case, it consists of a plant that requires fertile and humid soils in order to grow properly, which is why it is convenient to make sure to protect its roots through some other plant that provides them with enough shade.

Keep in mind that Clematis vitalba should not be grown in a plastic pot, since it will not be able to protect its roots from the heat when summer arrives. So the most appropriate materials will be wood, terracotta and/ or stone.

It should be mentioned that it is a type of shrub that has great resistance to climatic changes and also to cold. In the case of this plant, it is necessary to dig a large hole, which is at least twice as wide as the pot in which the plant is growing and also half its depth. And do not forget to place organic matter at its base.

In relation to irrigation, it should be noted that during the summer it is essential to water it abundantly, because throughout this time it is usually in full growth. Likewise, it is worth mentioning that in its first year of life, instead of requiring a rich diet, clematis needs plenty of water ; Therefore, it is necessary to check the drainage holes in the pots and, if necessary, expand those that already exist in order to prevent waterlogging of their roots.

Likewise, it is necessary that before planting a little compost is applied around the soil; in this sense, it can be beneficial to apply bone meal around the base of the Clematis vitalba, while it is in a growth phase.

In addition, it must be taken into account that the dosage has to be interrupted when the first buds with flowers are born and resume at the end of the flowering stage until the middle of August. However, in the case of late flowering specimens, it is essential to wait until next spring to start dosing again.

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