An evergreen climber; young stems slender, angled, hairy and very leafy; tendrils thread-like. Leaves 11⁄2 to 3 in. across, composed of five scarcely stalked leaflets, radiating from the end of a common stalk 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. long. Leaflets obovate or oblanceolate, 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. wide; tapered at the base, coarsely toothed towards the apex, each tooth tipped abruptly with a short gland; dark glossy green and glabrous on both surfaces. Flowers green, produced in small cymes. Fruits about the size and shape of small red currants, but of a reddish-purple colour.
Native of Chile and S. Brazil; introduced about 1878. Against a wall this survives all but the hardest winters, but is tender in the open. It is a very elegant plant, luxuriantly leafy, and with beautifully cut leaves. Tweedie, the Kew collector in S. America, called it the ‘ivy of Uruguay’, and says it covers the bushes with red berries in winter. It thrives very well in the south and west, and bore large crops of fruit at St Leonard’s as long ago as 1885, but the berries were purplish rather than red. When cut down to the ground by frost it will often break up again the following summer, but on the whole it is only well adapted for the mildest counties.