In autumn this vigorous perennial vine loses its 3 to 5 parted leaves, but the seed heads with their attractive, feathery white plumes persist longer, into winter. The faintly fragrant white to greenish-white flowers from which the seed heads grow make quite a show in spring and summer. These flowers have no true petals, just 4 sepals and a crowed mass of stamens and pistils, the reproductive organs of the plant. The fast-growing, woody stems of Old man's beard creates a dense foliage mass that can overwhelm the understory tree or shrub that support them. In some areas where it is adapted this plant is considered a noxious weed. Here in Sicily it may be seen climbing into woodland trees, and over small trees and shrubs of the maquis vegetation type.
Scientific name: Clematis vitalba
Italian common name: Clematide vitalba
English common name: Old man's beard