Cissus - Native Grapes


Native Grapes

Other Names: Water vines, jungle grapes
Vitaceae (Grape family)
Habitat: Rainforests to open forest
Uses: The fruits are edible, drinking water found in stems
Season: Fruits ripen mainly in late summer and autumn
References: Low, Robinson

According to Tim Low not all species of Vitacea (native grapes) are edible. The two species of Cissus shown below are known to be edible. Cissus opaca (Pepper vine) fruits are also edible and this is the only native grape found west of the Great Dividing Range.

Cissus hypoglauca, commonly known as Water Vine, Five Leaf Water Vine, or Five-leaf Native Grape, is a common Australian Vine. It is one of the better known climbing plants of the genus Cissus in the grape family. A very common climber in moist areas of eastern Australia, it often colonises large areas after forest damage due to storms, fire or logging.

Cissus antarctica is another of the more common species of the genus Cissus in the family of Vitaceae. It is a climbing plant, often used as a houseplant. It comes from Australia and is sometimes called "kangaroo vine".

Drinking water can be obtained by cutting the stems and letting them hang.

Cissus hypoglauca - Five Leaf Water Vine - Native Grape
Photo: Peter Woodard, Cissus hypoglauca - Five Leaf Water Vine, Durras Lake (South Coast NSW).

Cissus hypoglauca - Five Leaf Water Vine - Native Grape
Photo: Peter Woodard, Young leaves of Cissus hypoglauca - Five Leaf Water Vine, Brisbane Water National Park.

Cissus antarctica - Kangaroo Vine - Native Grape
Photo: Arria Belli, Cissus antarctica - Kangaroo Vine. Higher resolution (3648 x 2736).

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