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Cyphostemma currorii (Cobas Tree)

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Scientific Name

Cyphostemma currorii (Hook.f.) Desc.

Common Names

Cobas Tree, Butter Tree

Synonyms

Cissus currori (basionym), Cissus crameriana, Cissus macropus, Cyphostemma cramerianum, Cyphostemma macropus, Vitis currori, Vitis macropus

Scientific Classification

Family: Vitaceae
Subfamily: Vitoideae
Genus: Cyphostemma

Description

Cyphostemma currorii is a perennial, deciduous, succulent shrub or small tree with a bloated, water-storing trunk with yellowish to orange bark. The tree remember a dwarf Baobab in shape and most often reaches up to 10 feet (3 m) high, but sometimes up to 20 feet (6 meters). It is for the most part of the year leafless. When leaves are present, they are large, divided into 3 segments and fleshy. The cream-colored flowers and bright-green fruit are borne on long stalks.

Photo via bihrmann.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Wild Grape is a very sought-after plant for the garden, as are other caudiciform plants such as Baobabs, Adeniums and Tylecodons. They make superb container or open garden subjects in and around the garden, especially around swimming pools and courtyards. Because this species grows mainly in the summer, plants must be kept dry during the colder winter months. They are ideal accent plants for a rockery or may be planted in a large container on a sunny protected patio.

The Wild Grape fares best in a loamy or sandy soil where drainage is optimal. Adding plenty of river sand and general compost will greatly improve drainage in heavy clay soils. Soil quality can also be improved dramatically by lightly working some bone meal into the soil. Although smelly, the effect on soils is quite remarkable. As a rule of thumb, use only organic products, such as those based on seaweed extract, especially if plants are going to be fed on a regular basis. Organic products won't burn or damage plants… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Wild Grape (Cyphostemma juttae)

Origin

Cyphostemma currorii is found in hot, arid rocky places, and has been seen from southern Angola to Namibia and is common on the Brandberg.

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