Tag Archives: Clematis vitalba

First seed saved for 2021

You’ll find old man’s beard or tysk klematis in Norwegian (Clematis vitalba) in Italian foraging books as the young cooked shoots are popular there in spring (they shouldn’t be eaten raw). There’s a very narrow time window for harvesting this, so I seldom eat much of it. However, it doubles as being an exceptoionally popular plant for pollinating insects (hoverflies and drone flies in particular) when it is in flower for a long period from late summer to autumn when there are few other flowers out.  lt cilmbs up onto my balcony which makes photography easier!
I started this from seed collected on the chalk downs of Hampshire (in the area where I grew up) about 25 years ago. 

Unusual Pollinators

A dark green fritillary (aglaya perlemorvinge) and my second red-tailed bumlebee (steinhumle) on my Buddleja and Clematis vitalba (old man’s beard….not me!)



More Fast Slow Food

Fast Slow Food: From garden to table in 20 minutes or less…
As related in my book and my talks over the years, some of the best food is in this category and one common way of using wild and garden veggies in the Mediterranean countries is simply to gather a selection of greens, boil and fry in olive oil with garlic and chili, mix with scrambled eggs. Two of the wild foraged species mentioned at the beginning of the Mediterranean chapter are
a) Clematis vitalba (Old man’s beard / Tyskklematis)….must be boiled to detoxify as it’s related to buttercups (smørblomst)
b) Anchusa azurea (large blue alkanet): quote from the book “Anchusa azurea is a perfect perennial edimental with superb azure-blue flowers in summer. Young leaves and flowering shoots of this species and others in the same family have been gathered from the wild in most Mediterranean countries. In Cyprus, for example, they were boiled alone, boiled with beans or fried. Like its annual cousin borage, Borago officinalis, the flowers are an attractive addition to salads or just freeze them in ice-cubes.”

Garden pictures 24th-25th September 2016

A collection of pictures from last weekend in the garden!