Cissus antarctica Vent.

Water Vine

Woody climber with rusty-haired new growth and simple or 2-branched tendrils. Leaves simple, more or less ovate, to about 10 cm long, 4 cm wide; margins toothed to entire, lower surface rusty-haired and with domatia in the vein axils. Flower clusters dense. Flowers with yellow petals; spring to autumn. Fruit purplish.

Several native species are grown: C. discolor Blume, Trailing Begonia Vine, from Australia and SE Asia is easily distinguished by the variegated leaves that are purplish below - it is sometimes grown as an indoor plant; C. hypoglauca A. Gray, Giant Water Vine, has leaves with 3-5 leaflets, each with a pronounced stalk; C. sterculiifolia (Benth.) Planch. has leaves of 3-5 leaflets with prominent domatia.

C. rhombifolia Vahl, Venezuelan Treebine, is an evergreen climber with cylindrical, hairy stems. Leaves with 3 leaflets, each to 10 cm long, rhomboid, the margins with large teeth. The cultivar 'Ellen Danica' is a vigorous, dense bush with glossy, deeply cut and lobed leaves that are often almost round.

Qld, NSW.

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
Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Vitales
family       Vitaceae
genus        Cissus L.