Vitaceae (weeds)

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Cayratia japonica (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Vitales - Vitaceae (weeds) - (grape family)

The family Vitaceae (order Vitales) contains around 1000 species of woody plants, many of them vines. The genus Vitis includes the cultivated grapevines. Some other members of the family are regarded as weeds. For example bushkiller (Cayratia japonica) is an invasive vine that has spread to North America from Asia. It grows rapidly over native vegetation.

The members of the family are found mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. They have broad leaves, climbing tendrils and inflorescences with many branches. The flowers are small with 4-5 petals and 4-5 stamens. The fruits are clusters of berries.

The following genera are currently entered under this family: