Yellow clematis, a perennial vine related to the buttercup family, can become quite invasive if proper precautions are not taken. In Alberta, it has been designated as noxious for this reason. Often purchased, however, from gardening stores as a bedding plant, this weed can spread by wind which can take the seeds far beyond the reaches of the flower bed.
Once established, Yellow clematis can grow several stems per plant and grow tough and woody with age. Leaves are long, bright green and pointed with a toothed edge. A lemon-yellow nodding flower, hence the name, truly draws the eye to this clematis.
Producing both by seed and stem, the Yellow clematis vine grows rapidly on almost any surface — bare ground, trees and shrubs, up fences, etc. Drought, nutrient-poor soils and cold temperatures don’t seem to hold this invader back.
Unfortunately control can be difficult as cultivation is not known to be successful and grazing controls are not recommended. Herbicides are also not registered for use on Yellow clematis at this time. Mechanical control, or repeated hand pulling prior to seed set seems to be the most effective way to manage this pest.
Aimee Delaney is a Conservation assistant for Red Deer County.