4. Screening plants

BOSSIAEA CORDIGERA                    Fabaceae                            Wiry bossia
Bossieae cordigera
[cordigera -  heart-shaped leaves]
A scrambling prostrate shrub of damp situations along rivers, and at higher elevations, where it is usually knee-high with long branches straggling over rocks and vegetation.  Leaves bright green, small, heart-shaped, opposite.
Solitary golden pea flowers with blackish back and reddish purple keel on erect long stalks.
Pod flattened, 1.5 cm long.  Flowering spring and summer. 
Propagation from scarified seed or cuttings.
May reach 20 cm high but is a neat, reasonably open ground cover for a well-drained, sunny site.
Frost hardy.
Tas, Vic.

MUEHLENBECKIA AXILLARIS                 Polygonaceae                Matted Lignum
Muehlenbeckia axillaris
A prostrate, wiry plant, rooting at the nodes.  Insignificant greenish flowers and 5mm rounded leaves. A useful screening plant and adaptable and is found in naturally "benign" habitats or very cold, frosty and damp places. Prefers heavy soils.
Tas, NSW, Vic, ACT and New Zealand.

CLEMATIS ARISTATA                            Ranunculaceae                                                        Clematis
(Male Flowers)
Clematis aristata
Woody climber scrambling to 15m or higher over shrubs and trees. Leaves opposite,simple or compound, with 3 large leaflets to 9cm long, 5cm wide, stalks of leaves and leaflets often acting as tendrils.  Flowers about 4.5cm, creamy white, starry, with 4-7 long narrow segments.   Male and female flowers on separate plants. Male flowers more showy, with numerous pointed stamens; female flowers with many carpels with leathery styles persisting in the fruit. 
Flowering September-January.
Widespread, especially in lower montane forests and gullies, sometimes in drier light forest. Easily germinated from seed.

One other Tasmanian species is a climbing plant, C. microphylla, which is restricted to sand dunes near the north coast. This has leaves divided into three parts which are themselves divided into three leaflets.  The non-climbing C. gentianoides has similar flowers and is restricted to dry sites near Hobart and Launceston and near the east coast.  The introduced old man's beard, C.vitalba, is common in settled areas of the State.

Also Vic, NSW, Qld, SA.

Information courtesy of Rainforest Plants of Tasmania and the Launceston Field Naturalists Club.   

Clematis aristata developing seed
(Developing seed)

CLEMATIS GENTIANOIDES                                                            Ranunculaceae
Ground clematis

Clematis gentianoides
A non-climbing small, open, perennial plant with ridged stems, often in groups, with long internodes, arising from persistent roots.
Ht.20-50cm  W.50-100cm
Leaves: Opposite, lanceolate, 2-8cm long with prominent venation.
Flowers: Terminal, axillary, solitary, with 4-8 white pointed sepals sometimes with a tinge of pink, usually male and female flowers on separate plants.
Flowering in Spring.
Fruit: An achene, in a cluster.
Habitat/Distribution: Widespread on rocky hillsides in north, south and south-east Tasmania.
Cultivation: An attractive undershrub for well-drained sites, tolerating some shade. Inconspicuous unless in flower, may appear to die but the persistent root stock will allow it to re-emerge. Propagate from  fresh seed or cuttings.
Information courtesy of Tasmania’s Natural Flora.

PANDOREA PANDORANA                                                                       Bignoniaceae
Wonga Vine

Pandorea pandorana white form
A vigorous scrambling or climbing vine.
Leaves: Elliptical, dark green glossy upper surface, lighter green lower surface with conspicuous veining. Widely spaced pairs of pinnate leaflets (5-11) along the stems, with the longest leaflet at the end.

Flowers: Tubular, white/cream, 5-petalled with magenta streaks in throat, or gold/magenta.  Massed clusters on long stalks arising near the leaf axils.
Flowering: Spring. 
Fruit: Boat-shaped capsule with flat winged seeds.
Habitat/Distribution:  Limited to Flinders Island in damp gullies. Also Vic, NSW, Qld. New Guinea, Indonesia.

Information: Tasmania's Natural Flora

Pandorea pandorana gold form