Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Vitaceae or Grape Family

The Vitaceae or Grape Family is a small family of woody plants with tendrils, world-wide, consisting of approximately 16 plant genera and almost 1,000 accepted species names. The largest genera world-wide include Cissus, the largest and; Cyphostemma, Ampelocissus and Vitis.

In North America there are 7 genera with 56 accepted species. The largest genus in North America belongs to Vitus, the grape vines with 23 species. The other well-known genus in North America is Parthenocissus which includes Virginia Creeper, Woodbine and the exotic Boston Ivy.

Arizona has 3 species; Cissus, Parthenocissus and Vitis.

The economic importance of the family is limited to the genus Vitis, which is commercially grown for the fruit, the grapes, which are fermented to produce wine.

  • Vitis arizonica, Canyon Grape
  • Date Family Profile Completed: 09/27/2016
    Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
    U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database.[and all genera cited above - (accessed 09/27/2016).
    The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/27/2016).