Clematis forsteri (Forster's Clematis)
Species: C. forsteri
Binominal name: Clematis forsteri
Synonyms: Clematis australis var. rutifolia, Clematis hexasepala var. rutifolia, Clematis colensoi, Clematis colensoi var. rutifolia, Clematis hexapetala, Clematis hexasepala, Clematis australis.
Common names: Forster's Clematis, Pōānanga. Pikiarero. Small white clematis,
Clematis forsteri is a very variable native evergreen woody climber with variable shaped leaflets. The dark green leaves are trifoliate and deeply lobed. It is found growing up to 4m in the margins lowland forests from Auckland area south to northern Westland and Canterbury.
In October to November it has a profusion of small, honey-scented, star-like flowers that can vary in colour from a greenish-cream to a pale yellow. It is dioecious and there is only a slight differences in the size and fineness of male and female flowers. The flowers are followed with fluffy seed heads.
The early Maori used a decoction of the bark and stems of the Clematis forsteri and the root of the Coprosma acerosa. (Colenso 1869a). Leaves used by the Māori as a blister or counter-irritant (Thomson 1855, Fulton 1922).
Leaves used, like horopito, to wean a child from the breast. Leaves crushed and rubbed on breasts (Best 1908).
Used for female head-dresses (various Clematis spp.) (Colenso 1869a, 1869b)
Some pā ramparts (Tapatahi pā at Waipiro, and the Orongo-iri pā) said to have ramparts composed of stones with clay worked in between them. Pieces of Clematis vine were mixed with the clay to bind the fabric. Such a wall was called koperu or parihi (Best 1927)
For more details of this vine visit: http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1681
Photographed upper Whanganui River.at DOC. Ohinepane Campsite River Road.
Photographed at Otari Wilton Bush Reserve. Wellington.
A cream coloured flower.