Cyphostemma currorii (Hook.f.) Desc.
Cobas Tree, Butter Tree
Cissus currori, Cissus crameriana, Cissus macropus, Cyphostemma cramerianum, Cyphostemma macropus, Vitis currori, Vitis macropus
Cyphostemma currorii is a deciduous succulent shrub or small tree with a bloated, water-storing trunk with yellowish to orange bark. The tree resembles a dwarf Baobab in shape and most often reaches up to 10 feet (3 m) high but sometimes grows up to 20 feet (6 meters). It is leafless for most of the year. However, when leaves are present, they are large, fleshy, and divided into three segments. The cream-colored flowers and bright-green fruits are borne on long stalks.
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 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 fed regularly. Organic products won't burn or damage plants.
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