James H. Schutte
(Kangaroo Ivy Cissus, Kangaroo Vine)
The common name "kangaroo vine" fittingly traces this tropical evergreen vine to northern Australia. In its native environment, it grows in or near the rainforest. In the home and garden, it is valued for its glossy, deep green, leathery leaves that remain attractive in both sunshine and shade. It makes a trusty houseplant, tender patio specimen or tropical outdoor vine.
Pointed, oval leaves with serrated edges and prominent veins densely line the climbing stems of kangaroo vine. Nor surprisingly,...
(Dear Three Leaves, Jagged Treebine, Treebine)
A pretty tropical vine native to a wide expanse of Tropical America -- from Central America and the Caribbean into central South America -- jagged treebine bears bright scarlet flowers. It's so admired across Latin America that it carries the colloquial name of caro de tres hojas: literally, "dear three leaves."
The glossy bright green leaves comprise three pointy leaflets and are held on a jagged or grooved petiole stem that has a reddish tint. Opposite the leaves are reddish tendrils. Newly...
(Treebine, Wing Stemmed Grape Ivy)
Squared, succulent stems and pinkish red aerial roots are but a few curious attributes of the wing stemmed grape ivy. An evergreen to partially deciduous tropical vine or liana, it is native to a wide expanse of southern Brazil into nearby Peru and Paraguay. It's believed to have been cultivated and selected by native peoples and may explain why some plants do not flower to produce fruits or seeds.
The stems are squared and often show a wing-like keel. Tendrils with suction cup-like tips grow...
James H. Schutte
(Arizona Grape Ivy, Ivy Treebine, Possum Grape, Sorrel Vine)
Very fast-growing and displaying attractive teethed green leaves that fall away in winter, sorrel vine is a versatile vine or groundcover. Native to the southern United States and adjacent parts of northern Mexico, it bears tendrils opposite the leaves that will clasp onto any surface that isn't glass-smooth.
The leathery, succulent green leaves are variable in shape. Usually they're three-lobed but occasional deltoid-shaped blades occur with or without lobes, but always with coarse teeth. Tiny...
(Rex Begonia Vine, Tapestry Vine)
Vividly colored and patterned, the leaves of tapestry vine combine burgundy, silver, pink and green on climbing, burgundy stems. An evergreen vine very tender to cold, tapestry vine is native to southeastern Asia, particularly Indonesia.
Each leaf is an elongated dark-green heart with a burgundy underside. The leaf face is magnificently patterned with mirrored shapes of silver, gray and pink. In summer, tiny unshowy reddish-green flowers bloom and give way to small, round, dark red fruits. The...
(Devil's Backbone, Veldt Grape, Winged Treebine)
Here's a succulent tropical vine that has more interesting stems than leaves. Winged treebine hails from tropical Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and eastern India. Odd-looking and generally leafless, its primary feature are thick, jointed, four-angled green stems.
The leaves, which aren't all that frequent, occur opposite tendrils at nodes on the winged stems. Each leaf is oval or three-lobed with coarse teeth and a fleshy texture. In summer, tiny clusters of green-yellow flowers appear, followed...
J.M. Garg, Wikimedia Commons Contributor
Across its native lands, locals would drink the sap of this treebine as a source of emergency water during sojourns through the forests, prairies and shrublands. Treebine is a tall-growing woody vine or liana native to subtropical highlands from Bhutan and northeastern India to Thailand. It's semi-evergreen, but seasonal chill or severe drought leads to it being fully deciduous in some climates. The vine stems are relatively smooth and cylindrical.
Newly emerging leaves are hairy, but mature...
(Treebine, Variegated Grape )
Pretty and glossy deep green leaves occur on this vine that inhabits rainforests from India and Bhutan southward all the way to northernmost Australia. A treebine, sometimes called variegated grape, develops a gray-barked trunk with herbaceous stems that clasp with tendrils.
The leaves are shiny and green, shaped like poplar leaves. Another way to describe them is as shallow-based hearts. Leaf margins have sparse, tiny teeth. Tendrils, if present, rise opposite the foliage on the stems. Emerging...
(Ivy of Paraguay)
At first glance, you may mistake the ivy of Paraguay as a miniaturized Virginia creeper. The small, leathery, green leaves on this tropical evergreen vine -- native from southern Brazil westward to northern Chile -- comprise three or five leaflets.
The medium green leaves on this fast-growing and slender vine are accompanied by tendrils. In summertime, tiny green flowers occur in clusters opposite the leaves. Glossy oval berries ensue. The leaves and fruits contrast the reddish stems nicely.