Clematis brachiata

Click on an image to enlarge it.
Botanical Name
Clematis brachiata
Ranunculaceae - The buttercup family.
klem-AT-iss brack-ee-AY-tuh
Common Name(s)
English: Traveler's Joy; Old Man's beard
Afrikaans: Klimop; Lemoenbloeisels
IsiXhosa: Ityolo
IsiZulu: Umdlonzo
Sesotho: Morara
Setswana: Mogau
Plant Group
  • Climber / Creeper Climber: a plant that climbs using tendrils or if given support. Creeper: a plant running along the ground, often rooting as it goes.
Plant Size
  • Medium to Large
    Tree15m to 20m
    Shrub2m to 3m
    Perennial/ground cover60cm to 75cm
    Bulb60cm to 1m
    Succulent60cm to 1m
  • Canopy Shade Canopy shade is found below closely grown trees where some light filters through. Ideal for the protection of herbaceous plants.
  • Dry Shade Shady areas where soil has poor water retention or are dependent on rain for their moisture needs.
  • Light or Dappled Shade Found below trees with sparse, open foliage. Ideal for the protection of herbaceous plants.
  • Partial Shade The area is in shade for part of the day and in full sun for part of the day.
  • Sun The area is in full sun for all or most of the day, all year round.
General Information
  • Attractive fruits, berries or seeds Brightly coloured fruits or berries increase and extend the visual impact of the plant and are especially attractive to birds and other small wildlife.
  • Deciduous Plants which completely lose their foliage for part of the year.
  • Drought Tolerance: High The plant is well adapted to arid conditions; it can survive long periods of drought and high temperatures without extra water.
  • Fragrant / Aromatic These plants posses a strong, usually pleasant odour.
  • Frost: Hardy The plant can withstand freezing temperatures or frost without artificial protection.
  • Sand tolerant Plants adapted to survive in nutrient poor, very sandy soils.
  • Water Wise Plant species originating from low rainfall regions that require less water to survive and thrive than other plant species.
Specific Information

Clematis brachiata is a twining climber or scrambler with woody stems that can reach up to 5 m. After flowering, large, fluffy, seed heads develop that remain on the plant until the latter part of winter.

Ad Break

four pointed petals with numerous yellow stamens

  • Summer to Autumn Plants will seldom bloom for the entire season as given in the list, but should flower during a period within these parameters.
  • white
Growth Rate
Plant Uses
Distribution and Habitat

in all provinces of South Africa as well as in Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, and Botswana, in any climate from winter rainfall to summer rainfall regions

Planting Suggestions

Clematis  brachiata will grow in most soils but respond best if the soil is well drained. Add compost or a general fertiliser if the soil is very poor or the site is poorly drained, and mulch well. Clematis will need a frame on which to climb, although, allowed to scramble and climb amongst the trees and shrubs or over tree stumps, it makes a trouble free and eye-catching sight. The untidy end-of-season growth should be pruned well back in late winter. It likes water during summer and prefers dryness during winter,

Medicinal Uses

The common name, Traveler's Joy, must surely stem from the use if this plant by travelers in earlier days. Leaves were packed into the shoes to relieve blisters and aches, under the horse saddles to prevent saddle sores and into the crown of a hat to keep the wearer cool and protected from the sun. A refreshing tea is made from the leaves (¼ cup fresh leaves in 1 cup of boiling water, stand for 5 minutes, strain and drink, sweetened, if desired, with honey). This tea is traditionally used to relieve headaches, coughs and colds, chest ailments, abdominal upsets and as a soothing wash for aching feet, cracked skin and blisters, as well as an eyewash for tired eyes. The inhaled scent of crushed tendrils and stems is said to clear a blocked nose, ease sinus headaches and encourage sneezing. The inhaled steam of a bowl of roots, stems and leaves in boiling water is used for relieving colds, malaria, sinus infections and asthma and a strong brew of leaves, stems and flowers in the bath relieves aching muscles.

Ad Break

Discuss this plant

Share knowledge, ask a question or give an experience.

Bottom Border