Common Name: Small-Leaved Clematis
Clematis microphylla is an evergreen climbing shrub that can grow 5 - 10 metres tall[
]. The stems scramble over the ground, their leaf petioles twining into other plants for support182].
The plant is gathered from the wild for its use in traditional medicine, and is widely grown as an ornamental in Australia[
Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, some if not all members of this genus are mildly poisonous. The toxic principle is dissipated by heat or by drying[
Australia - New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia.
Sandy loams on river banks and in moist gullies by the coast and on tablelands[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Plants are hardy to at least -7°c in Australian gardens[
Prefers a deep moist soil with its roots in the shade[
]. Dislikes poorly-drained heavy clay soils, but grows well in clay if grit is added for drainage[
]. Dislikes light sandy soils[
]. Does well on chalk[
]. Succeeds in acid as well as alkaline soils[
A twining plant[
]. The leafstalks wrap themselves around twigs and branches for support. When a side of the stalk touches an object, the growth on that side slows down whilst the other side grows at its normal rate - this causes the leaf stalk to entwine the object it is touching[
When planting out, in order to avoid the disease 'clematis wilt', it is best to plant the rootball about 8cm deeper in the soil. This will also serve to build up a good root crown of growth buds[
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[
The leaves are rubefacient[
]. They are applied externally to treat skin irritations[
]. Use with caution and do not apply for more than 3 minutes[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
]. Sow stored seed as soon as it is obtained. Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and remove as much of the tail and outer coat as possible[
]. The seed germinates in 1 - 9 months or more at 20°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
Internodal cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, late spring in sandy soil in a frame[
Layering of old stems in late winter or early spring[
Layering of current seasons growth in early summer[
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