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The joy of this plant is that you see it wherever you travel in Britain. See what I did there?

170922 Travellers joy (1)

Clematis vitalba is most commonly called Traveller’s-joy but you might also know it as Old-man’s-beard, Father Christmas, Smokewood or Woodbine. Its feathery white seed heads are its most distinctive feature, making it easy to recognise and identify, and this really is a plant that you’ll see draped over hedges and fences almost everywhere in Britain.

Yet SEWBReC, the South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, have revealed that Traveller’s-joy is not well recorded: they have less than 2000 records in their database. And so they have made this plant their species of the month for September. If you spot Traveller’s-joy this month (or next, or the month after), please make a point of recording it with your local records centre – almost every county in Britain has its own records centre where you can log your biological sightings and those of you based in south-east Wales can find out more about biological recording, and the species of the month, on SEWBReC’s website.

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