Clematis-microphylla.JPG (18771 bytes)Clematis microphylla: is a vigorous climber and is a member of the Ranunculaceae family (in company with the Buttercups). Clematis is a cosmopolitan genus with between 250-300 species. Australia is home to about nine endemic species and one naturalized. There are many exotic hybrids. On our trip to the United Kingdom we saw at least 20 exotic species for sale in one nursery.
Clematis microphylla is widespread in Australia and occurs in all states except the Northern Territory and is in common in bushland throughout its range. In spring the plants become covered with greenish-cream flowers. Clematis microphylla is a dioecious species. This means that male and female flowers are carried on different plants. The image shows male flowers on the left and female on the right. After flowering, female plants develop clusters of fluffy seeds. As they ripen the clusters separate and the seeds are dispersed by wind.
Both male and female flowers attract bees. Perhaps Clematis microphylla could be grown on trellises in orchards. The bees that the vines attract would aid the pollination of fruit trees.
The dense multiple stems provide excellent nesting sites for native birds. The Clematis microphylla that grow on the supports of our patio have hosted nests of Red-browed Finches, Eastern Spinebills and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters.
Propagate from seed.