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A family of dicotyledonous plants in the order Rhamnales; mostly tendril-bearing climbers with compound or lobed leaves, as in grapes (Vitis).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of dicotyledonous plants.

Vitaceae are predominantly woody lianas, sometimes up-right shrubs and rather low trees. The leaves are alternate, mostly simple, usually with deciduous stipules. Most members of the family have tendrils, which are modified shoots or inflorescences used for climbing. The flowers are bisexual or diclinous, small, greenish, tetramerous or pentamerous; they are usually gathered in cymose inflorescences. The calyx is more or less reduced. There is a gynoecium of two carpels. The upper gynoecium is sometimes more or less accreted with a disk. The fruit is an upper syncarpous berry (uva), juicy or almost dry.

Vitaceae are monoecious or dioecious plants that grow mainly in tropical and subtropical zones. The family includes approximately 12 genera and 700 species. The largest genus is Cissus, with more than 350 species. The genus Vitis, or grape, has the greatest economic significance; several of its wild-growing species are found in the USSR. The Far East is the home of four species of the genus Ampelopsis and one species of creeper (genus Parthenocissus)’, two American species of this genus are widely cultivated.


Ampelografiia SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow, 1946.
Sosnovskii, D. I. “Vinogradovye.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 14. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.