tree grapes

Cyphostemma juttae

Wild Grape, Tree Grape, Blue Cobas

tree grapes

This most interesting succulent plant belongs to the grape family and grows naturally in the arid parts of southern Namibia. Tree Grapes are dominated by large, swollen stems or trunks called caudices (singular: caudex) with prominent flaking or peeling bark. Fleshy, grey-green leaves with serrated margins tip the stubby branches. Inconspicuous, yellowish-green flowers are borne in clusters during late spring and summer.

Tree Grapes in turn develop into bunches of red, grape-like fruit, giving rise to the common name. Mature plants can attain large proportions with stems reaching a height in excess of two metres. These giant succulents create a stately, somewhat imposing impact in gardens and the landscape of their natural habitat.

They are fairly easy to grow and seem to adapt to garden conditions with relative ease. Fertile seeds germinate readily but take an extremely long time to do so. Cuttings or truncheons root in well drained river sand. Beware of rotting due to excessive water, especially in winter. This curious succulent was previously known as Cissus Juttae.

The Gardener