Cayratia clematidea (VITACEAE) Slender Grape, Native Grapefruit

Plants to Plant

Weak, soft but vigorous climber to around 2 m, sometimes longer, common along creek banks. Fast growing, can smother young plantings, but easy to trim back until the planting is established. Striate stems. Climbs by means of tendrils. The underground part of the stem forms small tubers. Stems and flowers sometimes hairy. Leaves alternate, compound, with usually 5 leaflets, the terminal leaflet largest. The leaf margins are deeply toothed, both surfaces dull and sometimes slightly hairy. The lower pairs of leaflets have angled, branched petiolules, the terminal one is straight. Flowers are spreading inflorescences, peduncles (flower stalks) longer than leaves. Petals around 2.5 mm long, greenish. Fruit globose to obovoid, 5-7 mm, blackish.

Photo: Robert Whyte