Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

CISSUS trifoliata

Image of Cissus trifoliata

Family

Vitaceae

Botanical Name

CISSUS trifoliata

Plant Common Name

Marine Ivy, Mexican Grape Ivy, Mexican Sorrelvine

Special Notice

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

General Description

Known as marine ivy or Mexican sorrelvine, this mostly herbaceous vine that grows from a woody stem base hails from arid northern Mexico. Naturally inhabiting salt marshes, chaparral and open woodlands, both its leaves and fruits provide ornamentation to the dry garden.

Simple or forked tendrils help the stems clasp onto trees or climb over shrubs. Evergreen only when frosts don't occur, marine ivy's leaves are smooth and dark green and dry green and papery thin. Typically each leathery and fleshy leaf comprises three leaflets but occasionally are one leaf blade with three lobes. Crushed leaves emit a stinky odor. In late spring to late summer reddish flower stalks extend above the leaves, bearing tiny green flowers. Larger, more visually interesting berries develop afterward, ripening to black, contrasting the red stalks beautifully.

Grow marine ivy in full sun to partial shade in any well-drained soil. It looks attractive covering trellises, chain-link fences or clambering over boulders on a sunny hillside. Contact with the leaves may give rise to dermatitis on people with sensitive skin.

This plant is often confused with and misidentified as Cissus incisa, which is native from Arizona eastward to Florida as well as northernmost Mexico.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    10, 11, 12, 13

  • Plant Type

    Vine/Liana

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    15'-30' / 4.6m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • 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

    Sienna, Silver

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No