Cissus trifoliata

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: marine ivy 
Type: Vine
Family: Vitaceae
Native Range: Southern United States, New Mexico
Zone: 6 to 10
Height: 12.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Fruit: Showy


Grow in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates drought. Tolerates rocky soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cissus trifoliate, commonly known as marine vine, marine ivy or possum grape, is a semi-evergreen, fleshy-leaved, tendril-climbing vine of the grape family that typically grows to 30’ long. It sprawls and climbs over rocks, shrubs and trees in a variety of different habitats (dry rocky exposures, chaparral, open woodlands, salt marshes, and stream banks) from southeastern Kansas and southern Missouri to Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and parts of northern Mexico. Deeply 3-lobed to trifoliate leaves have toothed margins. Tiny flowers in flat-topped, greenish, 2-inch wide clusters (50-80 flowers per cluster) bloom in June and July. Flowers give way to small, broad-ovate, inedible berries (each to 1/4” long) which ripen to black in fall. Leaves emit an unpleasant odor when crushed.

Synonymous with Cissus incise.

Genus name comes from the Greek word kissos meaning ivy.

Specific epithet means having three leaflets in reference to the trifoliate plant leaves.


No serious insect or disease problems. Established vines can be difficult to eradicate from the landscape. Watch for aphids, scale and mealybugs.


Cover for fences, pergolas, arbors or small buildings. Train to grow on walls.