Cyphostemma uter (Exell & Mendonça) Desc.
Cissus uter (basionym)
Cyphostemma uter is a deciduous, summer-growing, caudiciform succulent, up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, growing from a very stout trunk, branching repeatedly from the apex and forming a much-branched, low tree. The caudex is swollen, up to 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, with dull white to orange bark. The stems are up to 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter. The leaves are fleshy, green, 5-foliolate, crowded at end of branches, hairy with undulate, serrated margins and up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long and wide. The flowers are greenish-yellow, arranged in cymes and appear in summer.
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)
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