Cissus L.

Grape Ivy

Greek kissos — ivy, referring to the climbing habit of many species.

Climbing herbs or shrubs, sometimes with fleshy stems; tendrils occasionally absent. Leaves evergreen or deciduous, simple or 3-7-palmate, margins usually toothed; stipules present. Flower clusters terminal or leaf-opposed. Flowers unisexual or bisexual, small, green or white, 4-parted. Petals hooded at the tip and soon shed. Disk present. Fruit an inedible berry, usually with 1 seed.

Grown for the attractive leaves, sometimes as indoor plants; a few species are succulent.The fruits are edible but bitter due to the presence of calcium oxalate: Aborigines cook both the fruits and roots.

About 300 species mostly tropical and subtropical.

Stem cuttings, occasionally by seed (especially succulent species).

Several species have edible leaves and/or medicinal properties, e.g. C. gongylodes.

Tendrils not swollen; flowers 4-parted.

Jackes (1988).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Vitaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Vitales
family       Vitaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Cissus antarctica Vent.