Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cissus hypoglauca A.Gray

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Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit several views and transverse section. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit, several views and transverse section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Gray, A. (1854) United States Exploring Expedition (Wilkes Expedition) Botany. Phanerogamia 1: 272. Type: New South Wales, near Sydney, U. S. Expl. Exped.; holo: GH.

Common name

Vine, Five-leaf Water; Water Vine; Vine, Giant Water; Vine, Jungle; Billangai; Vine, Water; Jungle Vine; Native Grapes; Five-leaf Water Vine; Five-leaved Grape; Giant Water Vine; Grapes, Native; Grape, Five-leaved


Vine stem diameters to 35 cm recorded.


Stipules caducous, ovate to elliptic, about 6-12 x 5 mm, clothed in reddish brown hairs. Compound leaves digitate, usually with 5 leaflets. Leaflet blades about 4.5-11 x 2.5-6 cm, underside white, leaflet stalks about 0.4-2.7 cm long. Lateral veins forming fairly definite loops inside the blade margin. Tendrils branched, attached opposite the petioles. Oak grain in the twigs.


Inflorescence leaf-opposed. Flowers about 4 mm diam. Calyx lobes very broad and membranous, about 0.2 mm long, apices very rounded. Petals about 2 mm long. Anthers about 1 mm long, staminal filaments about 0.5 mm long. Disk lobed, about 0.3 mm high. Stigma terminal, crater-like. Ovules two per locule.


Fruits globose to ellipsoid, about 11-15 x 9-13 mm. Seeds about 6-7 x 4-5 mm. Testa surface textured. Endosperm slightly ruminate. Embryo about 1 mm long. Cotyledons about as wide and about half as long to as long as the radicle.


Cotyledons about 20-24 x 9-14 mm, petioles about 4 mm long. First pair of leaves hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces, margins toothed. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades almost white on the lower surface, about 10-11 x 4.5-5 cm, margins dentate with two to five teeth on each side. Stalk of the middle leaflet longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Stipules +/- oblong, about 7 mm long, clothed in reddish brown hairs. Leaf and stem hairs twisted and contorted, medifixed. Tendrils simple (unbranched) first produced about the tenth leaf stage. Seed germination time 35 to 428 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs from NEQ, CEQ and southwards to Victoria. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 600-1200 m. Grows in well developed upland rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by many species of birds. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Sometimes cultivated on trellises in gardens as a screen or on a fence. It is also used potted as an indoor plant.

Vitis hypoglauca (A.Gray) F.Muell., Plants Indigenous to the Colony of Victoria 1: 94(1862). Cissus australasica F.Muell., Transactions of the Philosophical Society of Victoria 1: 8(1854), Type: Victoria, Brodribb River, Jan. 1855, F. Mueller; syn: MEL, K.
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