Cissus javana
Common Name: rex begonia vine 
Type: Vine
Family: Vitaceae
Native Range: Southeastern Asia
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers not showy
Bloom Description: Inconspicuous
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Heavy Shade


Easily grown in evenly moist, rich, well-draining soil in part sun. Prefers warm, humid conditions. The foliage will lack its distinct variegation if grown in too much shade. Too much sun will scorch the foliage. Hardy in frost-free Zones 11 and higher. Performance will be negatively impacted by prolonged temperatures of 50°F and below.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cissus javana, commonly called rex begonia vine, is a herbaceous, tender perennial vine native to Southeast Asia where it is typically found growing on woody vegetation. Mature vines have delicate, red stems and will reach up to 10' long and 1' wide. The narrowly ovate leaves have cordate bases and will reach up to 6" long and 4" wide. The upper surface of the foliage is dark green and mottled with silvery white while the lower surface is deep purple-red. The small, inconspicuous flowers are held in compound, axilary clusters. The fruits are rounded, 0.25" diameter, purple to black berries. Synonymous with Cissus discolor.

Genus name comes from the Greek word kissos meaning ivy.

The specific epithet javana means "from Java", in reference to part of the native range of this species.

The common name rex begonia vine refers to the appearance of the foliage. This plant is a member of the grape family Vitaceae and is not closely related to begonias.


Watch for whiteflies. Low humidity or too much full sun can cause the foliage to develop brown patches.


Suitable for use in mixed borders, hanging baskets or allowed to spill over the edge of a container. Provide a trellis or other structure for the vines to climb up if an upright form is desired. Use as an annual, or bring indoors to overwinter in a bright location when temperatures fall to 50°F.