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CISSUS antarctica

Image of Cissus antarctica

James H. Schutte

Family

Vitaceae

Botanical Name

CISSUS antarctica

Plant Common Name

Kangaroo Ivy Cissus, Kangaroo Vine

General Description

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, it is a member of the grape family and rambles as most grape vines do. Tendrils help the twining stems clasp and climb. In spring and summer, tiny green flowers appear, which are followed by dry, round, black berries relished by birds.

Grow kangaroo vine in any fertile soil that is moist and well-drained. Keep the soil slightly drier in winter. This is an adaptable plant that tolerates nearly full sun to shade. Once established, it becomes somewhat tolerant of drought. Trim back stems as needed to control size and/or encourage new growth in springtime. Where hardy, it can be planted to cover fences, arbors, trellises or the ground. It is also suitable as a houseplant or hanging basket specimen for porch or patio.

The foliage of this plant is larval food for Australian moth species in the genus Pollanisus.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vine/Liana

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    15'-50' / 4.6m - 15.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green, Light Green

  • Fruit Color

    Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Foundation, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies