Rhoicissus rhomboidea

ciccus rhom

Yesterday’s Macro Monday was a tricky one perhaps, but it should have been easier for the older among us. When I was young and the range of houseplants was very different to that we have today (and much better in some ways) every display of plants in garden centres included Rhoicissus rhomboidea, usually represented by the cv ‘Ellen Danica’ which, reputedly, has more deeply incised leaves.

This vigorous climber was popular because it was tough. It tolerated some neglect, including some drying out, grew in poor light, put up with temperatures down to 10c and seemingly thrived on dust, especially in unheated downstairs toilets.

If it outgrew its allotted space it was easy to chop it back and it would resprout and be as good as ever a few months later. All this led to it being rather maligned and, when I used to buy the houseplants for the garden centre, although I always had them in stock, along with variegated ivies and Cissus antarctica (which was even tougher and even less exciting), I never gave them much thought apart from when someone wanted a really tough houseplant (which they then ignored and bought a cyclamen that would be dead in a week).

ciccus rhom2

How odd then, that when I saw this plant the other day I was struck with remorse at not having seen it for so long. It was like a sadly neglected friend. And there is nothing wrong with it if you want an attractive plant for a cool room or conservatory that will happily bounce along and look good all year. It is an evergreen from south Africa that is closely related to grapes (Vitis) and will produce small, edible fruits in suitable circumstances. It has leaves comprised of three leaflets and the central is symmetrical but the two at the side are rhomboid ( as if you needed telling). The leaves are gently glossy and rich green when mature but the young leaves are covered in rusty hairs and the plant climbs by means of tendrils.

Give this good light and plenty of water and feeding and it is very easy to grow. Be careful with the water in winter if it is cool or the roots can rot – it is better to keep it a bit dry if the temperatures drop to 10c.




, ,

3 Comments on “Rhoicissus rhomboidea”

  1. Luce
    March 8, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    I would never have guessed it, but it definitely looks familiar from times past

  2. thelonggardenpath
    March 9, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    As one of those of that certain age, I must confess to not recognising that one, either as the new, bronze or older, green foliage. My past foray into house plants consisted of a rubber plant and a spider plant. I also was desperate to have a cheese plant. That does show my age!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: