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Saturday - June 20, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identity of fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succulent. I have not been able to find it in any book or online. Any ideas on what it could be? It is definitely not poison ivy or Virginia Creeper.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Cissus trifoliata (Grape ivy).  Another common name is cowitch vine. It has three-lobed fleshy leaves that emit a strong odor when crushed.  It is a member of the Family Vitaceae (Grape Family); however, its berries are not edible.  They contain toxic levels of oxalic acid, according to Delena Tull in Edible and Useful Plants of the Southwest:  Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.  2013.  University of Texas Press.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cow-itch vine
Cissus trifoliata

Cow-itch vine
Cissus trifoliata

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