The Grape Family has 12 to 17 genera and 700 to 950 species including Cissus, Parthenocissus and Vitis.
Australia has 6 genera with around 30 species.
Most are lianas (woody vines) with some shrubs and rarely small trees or herbs.
They are mostly evergreen, the stems have lenticels and the nodes may be swollen.
Most have leaf opposed tendrils that are unbranched or have up to 12 branches.
The tendrils twine around supports and some have suckers or adhesive pads at the slightly swollen tips.
Plants may have simple or branched hairs and the bark sometimes peels off.
The leaves, on petioles are alternate in a spiral or opposite and distichous (in 2 ranks).
There may be stipules between the petiole and stem (intrapetiolar).
The leaves and stipules may persist or be deciduous.
Leaves are simple or, when compound they can be palmate or pinnate with 3, 5, or 7 leaflets.
The edges are almost always toothed to some extent and there may be a mucro on the teeth.
There may be domatia (tufts of hair, pits or folds) in the axils of the midvein underneath.
Inflorescences are almost always opposite a leaf but occasionally terminal or axillary.
Flowers in the much branched inflorescences are usually bisexual but some are unisexual.
Bracts are present at the base of the peduncles.
The small flowers are on pedicels with a bracteole at the base.
The hypogynous disc, inside the stamens has 5 separate nectaries or a continuous ring of them.
The calyx consists of 4 or 5 (3 to 7) small sepals.
The rim may be flat or lobed.
There are 4 or 5 (3 to 7) petals that are free and spreading or fused at the base or tips.
Petals, mostly white, yellowish or green often fall off early.
There are 4 to 5 (3 to 7) stamens that lie opposite the petals and alternate with the sepals.
The dorsifixed anthers open inwards via longitudinal slits.
Staminodes may be present in female flowers.
The superior (half-inferior) ovary typically has 2 (3 to 6) locules.
It is often partly enclosed in a thick fleshy disc.
Each locule has 2 ovules with low axile placentation that may appear to be parietal.
There is a single apical style and the stigma may be simple or have 4 lobes.
The fruit are fleshy berries that may be green, red, black, purple or blue.
There are 1 to 4 seeds whose posterior surface has a raised oval or linear area (a chalaza)
where the ovule/seed was attached to the placenta.
On the other side of the seed are 2 infolds (the only family to have seeds with this).