One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any plant of the genus Rhoicissus (family Vitaceae), comprising South African climbing shrubs with simple or palmately lobed leaves, several of which are grown as house plants; (in form Rhoicissus) the genus itself.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Botanical Gazette. From scientific Latin Rhoicissus, probably from ancient Greek ῥοῦς sumac + scientific Latin Cissus, genus name (Linnaeus Species plantarum 117; from ancient Greek κισσός (Attic κιττός) ivy (of unknown origin)), probably so called on account of the resemblance of certain species to a sumac.
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