Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cissus repens Lam.

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

Lamarck, J.B.A.P.Monnet de (1783) Encyclopedie Methodique, Botanique 1: 31. Type: Based on Nerium Pulli Rheede, Hort. Malab. 7: 91, t. 48 (1688).

Common name

Som Toum; Cissus; Voeur Sanda; Grape, Variegated


Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded.


Leaf blades about 7-17 x 7-13 cm, petioles about 3-11 cm long, grooved on the upper surface. Leaf blade margins with about 15-18 small teeth on each side. Lateral veins 5-7 on each side of the midrib. Stipules +/- elliptic, about 5 mm long. Tendrils simple (unbranched) leaf-opposed. Twigs terete, green and glabrous, circular in transverse section, showing an oak grain. Scattered, shallow, pit-like glands present on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade.


Inflorescence leaf-opposed. Flowers about 4-5 mm diam. Calyx cup-shaped, about 0.8 mm high, lobes absent. Receptacle about 2-2.5 mm diam. Petals about 2-3.5 mm long, hooked at the apex, reflexed at anthesis. Staminal filaments about 1.3-2.5 mm long, attached outside the disk. Anthers about 1 mm long. Disk pale-coloured, white to green, surface undulate. Ovules 2 per locule.


Fruits globular or depressed globular, about 10-12 x 13-17 mm. Seeds one or two per fruit, each seed obovoid or pyriform, about 9-10 x 6-7 mm. Embryo about 2-3 mm long. Cotyledons orbicular, about 1 mm long. Radicle about 2 mm long.


Cotyledons +/- reniform, about 12-29 x 18-55 mm, petioles about 7-10 mm long. Cotyledons not identical on each seedling. Midrib not extending to the apex of each cotyledon. 'Oil dots' elongated. Stipules triangular, about 2 mm long. First pair of leaf blades ovate to cordate, apex acuminate, base truncate to somewhat cuneate, about 28-33 x 20-22 mm, margins toothed, petioles about 12-15 mm long. Hypocotyl glabrous. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade cordate to ovate, apex acuminate and mucronate, base shallowly cordate, margin with about 15-19 teethed on each side, teeth serrulate. Midrib and lateral veins raised on the upper surface. Minute 'oil dots' barely visible with a lens. Stipules caducous, apex obtuse, about 3-4 mm long. Tendrils simple (unbranched) leaf-opposed. Seed germination time 151 to 219 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ southwards to south eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows in beach forest, vine thicket and well developed lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia.

Vitis repens Wight & Arn., Prodromus Florae Peninsula India Orientalis : 125(1834), Type: Wall.Cat. No. 5990 (1831-32) based on No. 5990 a-f (K-Wall.). Cissus cordata Roxb., Fl. Ind. 1: 425(1820), Type: Vitis cordata Wall. Cat. No 6001 (1831-32), based on N0. 6001 a (K-Wall.).
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