Clematis aristata R.Br. ex Ker Gawl

Mountain Clematis

Edwards’s Bot. Reg. 3: t. 238 (1817)

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Dioecious, woody climber or trailer, ascending into forest canopies to 15 m high or more. Leaves opposite; juvenile leaves simple, usually purplish with whitish streaks along the main veins; adult leaves ternate, uncommonly biternate or simple; petioles often twining or twisting around other stems etc.; leaflets ovate to narrow lanceolate, mostly 3–8 cm long, 1–5 cm wide, glabrous or young leaflets hairy beneath, usually dull; margins variably serrate, rarely entire. Flowers in short panicles, less commonly solitary and long-pedunculate; sepals white or cream, oblong, lanceolate or oblanceolate, 15–35 mm long, glabrous to densely pubescent; male flowers with anthers 2–3.5 mm long, each with a subulate terminal appendage 1–2 mm long; female flowers sometimes with staminodes. Achenes flattened, obliquely ovate to obovate 4–6 mm long, variably pubescent or glabrous; awn plumose, 2–4.5 cm long. Flowers mainly Sep.–Nov.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Common in moist to wet forests and gully vegetation throughout the cooler parts of the State.

Rather variable in leaf size and shape, and in pubescence of floral and vegetative parts. Plants from mountains in East Gippsland (e.g. Mt Elizabeth, Mt Kaye) are notable for their extremely pubescent young growth and perianth parts.

Clematis blanda (syn. C. aristata var. blanda) was originally described as differing from typical C. aristata principally in having flowers solitary in the axils. More recent accounts have emphasized the often biternate leaves with relatively small, entire leaflets (approaching those of C. microphylla). Individual plants with both solitary and paniculate flowers are not uncommon in Victoria. The form of the species with smaller entire leaflets appears to be confined to Tasmania and is of uncertain taxonomic status. Plants originally described as C. aristata var. dennisae (from near Healesville) appear to be merely a rare pink-flowered form of the species.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Ranunculaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Ranunculanae
order Ranunculales
family Ranunculaceae
genus Clematis
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Clematis aristata in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Clematis aristata in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory