Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Causonis japonica (Thunb.) Raf.

Family Name: Vitaceae
Synonyms: Cayratia japonica (Thunb.) Gagnep.
Common Name: Sorrel Vine, Bushkiller
Full Sun Moderate Water Native to Singapore Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a perennial and evergreen climbing vine. 
Foliage Compound leaves, arranged alternately along the stems. Each leaf has 5 leaflets (5-foliolate) where the leaflet is ovate in shape and has serrated/ toothed margin. Young foliage is reddish in colour while the mature foliage is green. Tendril is red. 
Stems Stem is often red when young, sometimes covered with waxy white bark when older. 
Flowers Flowers are small, yellow to salmon in colour, borne on clusters (called as inflorescence), arranged in dichotomous cyme on terminal shoot. 
Fruits Fruits are berries which ripen to white, consisting of 2 - 4 seeds. 
Habitat Commonly found in disturbed sites, fringes of lowland and hilly dipterocarp forests and limestone vegetation areas.
Similar Similar to C. trifolia, but C. trifolia has 3-leaflets instead of 5 leaflets found in C. japonica.
Etymology The genus Cayratia is a vernacular name 'cay-rat' in Annam for vine.  

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red
Young Flush Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Modification Foliar Tendril
Foliar Type Compound
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Acute

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Cyme
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms White
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Mature Seed Texture(s) Ridged / Corrugated

Image Repository



Master ID 32975
Species ID 7389
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 22 September 2022.