On Nov 25, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:
This will and does grow as far north as the S.F. bay area. A nice good sized plant is thriving at the Berkeley Botanical garden and mine has done well for years outdoors in a large pot. To get the massive bulk they have to be planted in ground or growth become much more dwarfed as time goes by- even in a large container. That's my next step as even containerized, my Cyphostemma sailed through the 07 freeze unfazed.
Along with the tree Aloes these are top notched show plants.
On May 18, 2006, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:
I've grown these in the South wall planter for over 20 years in my North San Diego County gardens.
These plants have thrived in this climate, where temperatures have transitioned to 26 degrees F several times and where they have experienced winters with up to 35 inches of rain in the 20+ year period of growth here. I know of several specimen in this area that have had the same experience.
The plants have reached 300+ lbs. The only issue I have had is the growth toward the sun causes leaning and they become top-heavy and topple. We now replant and rotate them and re-root them every 5 years or so.
These wonderful unusual plants create an "other world" aura to their place in the garden. There is nothing else like genera.
Don't eat the grapes... Their delicious appearance is deceiving.
On Aug 15, 2003, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
This is one of many species of Cyphostemma- probably the most well known in the US. It is commonly grown in xeriscape gardens throughout the Southwest as a curiosity plant. It has a succulent stem that can become grosely weird with time. It is fairly slow growing and forms a large, squat, stem with a peeling, paper thin bark, that one would probably classify as a caudex. In the warmer months it produces humongous leathery, almost velvety blue-green leaves with serrated edges that are also succulent and very easy to break by just touching. The leaves are an attractive purply color when first coming up. The flowers are pretty insignificant and about the same color as the foliage, maybe slightly yellow. After fruiting, it forms several grape-like fruiting bodies- very toxic levels of tannins in these, so don't be tempted to eat them (they almost look like candy).
IN the winter, at least in So Cal, this plant is dormant and looks dead- no branches, leaves or anything but a fat, gnarled stump. It is an excellent pot plant and will live happily in the same sized pot for years, if not decades. This is a native of Nambia, Africa.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Apache Junction, Arizona Bostonia, California Clayton, California Encino, California Fallbrook, California Glen Avon, California Hayward, California Norwalk, California Orange, California Reseda, California San Leandro, California Simi Valley, California Thousand Oaks, California (2 reports) Tulare, California Vineyard, California Vista, California Altamonte Springs, Florida