This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek name of ivy). Vitaceae. Mostly tendril-climbing shrubs, a few of which are grown in the open, and others under glass for the handsome often colored foliage.
Very like Vitis (with which some authors unite it): at best a mixed group botanically, and capable of good definition only when certain groups or subdivisions are removed from it. For the characters of related genera, see Ampelopsis, Parthenocissus, Vitis. As constituted by Gilg in Engler & Prantl's "Pflanzenfamilien," the genus includes Cayratia but which might well be kept distinct. This subgenus, of which two or three interesting species from China and Japan are in cultivation, differs from Cissus proper in the always compound leaves, which are usually pedate, the axillary infloresence, the thin or even membranous disk, the 2-4-seeded fruit, and the plants mostly herbaceous. Excluding Cayratia, Cissus is known by usually simple leaves, 1-seeded fruit, and the disk being deeply 4-lobed or separated into 4 gland-like bodies. From Ampelopsis, as that genus is characterized in this work, Cissus differs in the 4-merous flowers, often herbaceous, and fleshy stem, the 1-seeded rather than 2-4-seeded fruit and in the disk not being cup-like and not irregularly lobed. From Vitis, it differs in its 4-merous flowers, its expanding petals (the corolla not falling off as a cap), the 4-parted disk, its 1-seeded mostly dry and inedible fruit, and other characters.
Cissus comprises probably 200 species, widely dispersed in tropical regions and a few of them reaching extra-tropical areas (as in the southern U. S.): mostly climbers by means of tendrils without enlarged or disk-like ends, rarely erect shrubs or even perennial herbs, sometimes with greatly thickened stems either under ground or above: leaves alternate, simple or compound, with tendril (if present) opposite or at same node: flowers usually perfect, in mostly umbel-like cymes that are terminal or axillary; parts of the flower in 4's, the petals at length spreading and falling separately; disk around the ovary 4-parted or -separated; style long and mostly slender rather than conical: fruit typically a dryish 1-seeded berry (2-4-seeded in Cayratia).
In cultivation there are very few species of Cissus, and these are mostly the tendril-climbing Vitis-like species grown under glass for the handsome foliage. The best known is C. discolor, although other species are likely to become widespread and popular in greenhouses. The fleshy-stemmed erect species are sometimes grown in botanical collections for the cactus-like forms and for illustrations in adaptive morphology. The species are readily propagated by cuttings.
a. stem herbaceous.
Herbaceous, glabrous or minutely puberulent, the branches striate, climbing by tendrils: leaves pedately 5-foliolate, long-stalked, the leaflets lanceolate or obovate-oblong, serrate: flowers in a long-peduncled 2-3-forking cyme, greenish; petals ovate-triangular, blunt: berry size of a small pea, 2-4-seeded, the seeds 3-angled-ovate, keeled.. Japan, Java, Austral. - Appears to be root-hardy N., when covered.
Differs from the above in the acuminate and more sharply and closely serrate leaflets, which are puberulous when young: anthers orbicular. China. - Very recently introduced
Herbaceous, climbing by tendrils, slender, terete root tuberous: leaves red and decorative, 3-foliolate, petioled, 3-6 in. long, hairy; leaflets stalked, ovate, abruptly acuminate, coarsely serrate, green with sunken nerves above and red with prominent nerves beneath: flowers light yellow, in a loose panicle or cluster about 4 in. long, the pedicels recurved after flowering; petals oblong, much reflexed (about 1/5in. long): berry globose,2/3in. diam., dark purplish black. tropical Africa (Uganda). B.M. 8278. - A quick-growing plant requiring warmhouse conditions. Readily prop, by cuttings or seeds, and of very easy cultivation Thrives well in sunlight. A recent introduced
aa. stem not herbaceous at maturity, although perhaps fleshy.
b. Leaves fleshy, 3-lobed or 3-foliolate.
Low glabrous climber, with slender and striate somewhat fleshy branches and long stout tendrils: leaves rigid, petiolate; leaflets or If . - divisions rather small, broad-cuneate and sharply toothed near the apex: flowers small, in corymb-like or umbel like clusters: fruit an ovoid and abruptly pointed dark purple berry, with 1 or 2 large seeds, the pedicel being recurved at maturity. S. Fla., and tropical Amer.; also, in Ariz, and S. - Sometimes planted.
(C. Rocheana, Planch.). Climbing 20-30 ft., the stems warty and very fleshy and the tendrils root-like: leaves pale green, very fleshy; leaflets or divisions wedge-ovate, notched on both sides and top, the middle one sometimes again lobed and the lateral ones 2-lobed: flowers in umbel-like mostly 3-forking cymes opposite the leaves: fruit an obovoid blackish berry, with 1 or 2 seeds, the pedicel being strongly recurved. Fla., to Ark. and Texas. R.H. 1884, pp. 272-3. - Often planted in the extreme S. Sometimes called "marine ivy." bb. Leaves not fleshy.
C. The leaves 3-5-foliate.
(Vitis gongy-lodes and V. pterophora, Baker). Vigorous tendril-climber with 4-angled branches, desirable for large greenhouses where tropical effects are desired, sending down long bright red aerial roots: leaves large, stalked, 3-foliolate; leaflets rhomboid or the middle one often 3-lobed, the lateral ones sometimes lobed on the outside at the base, hairy on margin and nerves: flowers red-brown, in pedunculate cymes opposite the leaves: a tuber (reaching 5-6 in. long) is borne at the end of each branch when the season's growth has ceased, and this drops and produces new plants. Brazil. B.M. 6803. Gt. 37:1273. R.H. 1908:203.
(Ampelopsis sempervirens, Hort.). Low, shrubby evergreen vine, tendril-climbing, the branches striate and usually lightly hairy: leaves small, 3-5-foliolate, with cuneate-obovate or lanceolate coriaceous leaflets, serrate above the middle: flowers yellowish, in many-fid. pedunculate cymes opposite the leaves: fruit depressed-globose, size of small pea, often 2-celled and 2-4-seeded. Chile, S. Brazil. - Graceful small climber for the cool greenhouse; robust in S. Calif.
cc. The leaves not compound although perhaps lobed.
Fig. 968. Tendril-climber, smooth, but not glaucous, the branches slender and with 4 or 5 ribs or angles, red: leaves oblong-ovate or cordate-ovate, acuminate, bristly serrate, reddish beneath, velvety green and mottled with silvery white above: flowers small and yellowish, in dense and very short axillary peduncled clusters: fruit globular, 1-seeded. Java. B.M. 4763. Lowe 13. F.S. 8:804-5. - One of the best of warmhouse foliage plants. Easily grown. Prop, by cuttings. It must have a season of rest, usually in spring or early summer. If wanted for winter growth, temp, must be about 75°. It thrives in rich somewhat moist soil and responds to small applications of fertilizer now and then. The plant is very susceptible to root - knot. Variable. Known to some as "trailing begonia."
Fig. 968. Cissus discolor. (x ½)
Variety mollis, Planch. (C. velutinus, Lind.). Pubescent or velvety: leaves green and boldly veined with white above, blood-red beneath: flowers intense bright red, in large laxer and longer-pe-duncled cymes. Habitat unknown. B.M. 5207.
(C. Baudiniana, Brouss.). Kangaroo Vine. Upright shrub, but the branches climbing by tendrils, hairy: leaves rather thick, glossy, ovate to oblong, sometimes more or less cordate, very short-acuminate, mostly toothed or notched, green: flowers green, in few-flowered, axillary clusters: fruit a globular- or few-seeded berry, said to be edible. Austral. B.M. 2488. - Valuable for cool greenhouses, but does not withstand frost. Grows well on walls in darkish and neglected places.
Tall, tendril-climbing, pubescent, the branches terete or compressed, tuberculate or smooth, striate: leaves ovate or oblong, often cordate at base, margin more or less serrate with bristle-tipped teeth or even cut, thickish, green: infloresence corymb-like, opposite the leaves, the flowers small, and varying from greenish to white and purplish: fruit an obovoid, 1-seeded black berry. Very widely distributed in tropical Amer., and exceedingly variable, and extending into Fla. The C. argentea of horticulturists is variety ovata, Baker, which has glabrous ovate or ovate-oblong remotely serrate and somewhat glaucous leaves Called "season vine" in tropics.
It is probable that some of the plants listed as Cissus belong to other genera, and some of the trade names are unidentifiable botanically. - C. albo-nitens, Hort. Leaves oblong-acuminate, more or less cordate at base, silvery white and shining over the upper surface. Brazil. Warmhouse climber. - C. amazonica, Lind. Leaves glabrous and glaucous, oval-acuminate and narrower, reddish beneath and silvery veined above. Brazil. Warmhouse climber. -C. Davidiana, Carr., is a Vitis (which see). - C. Lindeni, Andre (I.H. 17:2), has large ovate-cordate silver-blotched leaves: a glabrous climbing shrub, with terete branches. Colombia. - C. por-phyrophylla, Lindl., is a Piper. - C. Veitchii, Hort., is Parthenocissus.
L. H. B