Water Vine, Jungle Grape or Five Leaf Water Vine
This plant is not on the Australian Noxious Weed List
Native to Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, this vine is widespread and common in moist rainforest, chiefly in coastal districts but does grow inland as far as the eastern foothills of the Great Dividing Range. It is perhaps the better known of Australian vines in the grape family, Vitaceae.
A large woody climber with an unusual common name that is derived from the fact that the woody sections of the vine may be cut into sections to release the sap which may be drunk as water.
The leaves are palmately compound and are arranged in a group of five, the leaves are elliptic or ovate, slightly toothed or entire, mid-green above, smooth and hairless while the underside has a greyish or bluish bloom and is often hairy. Young leaves are rusty coloured and hairy while the climbing tendrils are two divided and arise opposite the leaf stems.
Flowers are yellow and arranged in umbels (flower stems all arise from the same point but vary in length so that flowers are held beside each other) in spring and summer. The fruit is globose (round), about 10mm in diameter and purple/blue. They may be eaten raw and provide a delicious watery snack but some find the after-taste slightly irritating. The Aboriginals ate the berries as a source of food.
Cissus species make excellent garden subjects in warmer areas or shade tolerant indoor plants in cooler climates. They are easy-care and tolerate a range of conditions and soil types.
Offered is a packet of 10 seeds complete with propagation notes.
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