Project 365 day sixty five 6/3/11 the fairies in old mans beard

C. vitalba is a perennial vine with climbing, woody stems that can grow 20 to 30 meters long.  This species is deciduous. The flowers are white to greenish-white, and they are about 2 cm in diameter. The inflorescence of C. vitalba is a terminal axillary panicle – the flowers are found in stalked clusters of the upper leaf axils.

Each individual flower is perfect, they contain both male and female flower structures (stamens and pistils). The flowers do not have petals – they are composed of 4 sepals, many stamens and many styles. Some stamens can be non-fertile, and some are petaloid. The styles are plumose (feathery), and they are long, white and persistent. The fruit is an achene. The common name, old man’s beard, is from the seed stage of the flower, when a mass of white is produced from the feathery styles that elongate and stay attached to the small hairy seed.

more info can be found on the Noxious Weed Control Board

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