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CISSUS incisa

Image of Cissus incisa

James H. Schutte



Botanical Name

CISSUS incisa

Plant Common Name

Arizona Grape Ivy, Ivy Treebine, Possum Grape, Sorrel Vine

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

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 light green to creamy white flower clusters occur on short branched stalks in summertime, leading to blackish fruits in autumn. Crush stems or leaves on the sorrel vine and you'll experience a scent that is like burned rubber.

Grow sorrel vine in partial shade to full sun in any soil type that has fertility and never floods. Once established it handles drought with ease. It also tolerates salt spray and makes a nice groundcover in coastal gardens. Other options are to grow it to cover a fence, rocky hillside or retaining wall or let it create an architectural tracery on an expansive building facade or concrete wall. In subtropical areas this plant may retain nearly all of its leaves in winter.

This species is widely misidentified or confused with species Cissus trifoliata, which is native only to northern Mexico.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    30'-40' / 9.1m - 12.2m

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States, South-Central United States, Southwestern United States, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage


  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Foliage Color (Spring)


  • Foliage Color (Summer)


  • Foliage Color (Fall)


  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Evergreen


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Groundcover, Rock Garden / Wall, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing