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These are the seeds of Clematis vitalba which is known as Travellers Joy or Old Man’s Beard or Wild Clematis.There is a lot of it about at the moment.  It is very common in Poitou-Charentes as it likes an alkaline soil and as much of this area is based on limestone and chalk, then the soil is often alkaline. Plants that like alkaline conditions are called Calcicoles, and others include a lot of the wild orchids, the blue flower called Vipers Bugloss also Chicory and Ladies Bedstraw.

Some plants positively will not grow in alkaline conditions and these are called Calcifuges, this includes most of the heathers, azaleas and rhododendrons and a lot of the insectivorous plants like Sundew and Butterwort.

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