the grape family of flowering plants, in the buckthorn order (Rhamnales), comprising 12 genera of woody plants, most of them tendril-bearing vines. The largest genus, which is pantropic in distribution, is Cissus, containing about 350 species. Vitis, with about 60 to 70 species, is the one genus in the family of great economic importance; it includes the European wine grape (V. vinifera) and the North American fox grape (V. labrusca), the parent species of most of the cultivated slipskin American grapes. The Boston ivy (q.v.; Parthenocissus tricuspidata) and the Virginia creeper (q.v.; P. quinquefolia) are well-known woody vines common in the eastern United States.
Learn more about grape family with a free trial on Britannica.com.