Plants of
South Australia
Clematis microphylla
Ranunculaceae
Old Man's Beard
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 6.

Etymology

Clematis from the Greek 'klematis' meaning a shoot, tendril, a Greek name used for various climbing plants. Microphylla from the Greek 'micros' meaning small and 'phyllon' meaning leaf.

Distribution and status

Found across southern South Australia, south of Arkaroola. Also found in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Perennial climbing plant with lance-shaped leaves in threes. Flowers are small in the centre of four large cream-white bracts. Separate Male and female plants with the fluffy seeds of the female giving the name old Man's Beard to the plant. Flowering between July and September. Fruits are white fluffy cluster of seeds each attached to a plumose style. Seeds are flat ovoid brown seeds about 6mm long with a long white plumose style. Seed embryo type is rudimentary.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and January. Pick the seeds from the cluster with your fingers. The seeds will come away easily. The seeds should be hard and brown when mature. No further cleaning is required. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From two collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 80% to 100%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA5,315 (23.6 g)1818-Dec-2003PJA72
Murray
14-Aug-2006100%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
22,600 (62.92 g)
22,600 (62.92 g)
688-Jan-2004MKJ14
Kangaroo Island
14-Aug-200680%-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
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