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Seedlings (from Oman)
Origin and Habitat: Cissus quadrangularis is native of India, but it has been dispersed by man throughout the drier parts of Africa and Asia (S. Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Senegal to Northern Nigeria, SE Egypt, Madagascar, Yemen, Oman, SW Saudi Arabia, Comoros, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, and as far east as the Philippines). It has been imported to Brazil and the southern United States. It is cultivated in the gardens elsewhere.
Altitude: (0-)150-300-2250 metres above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: Cissus quadrangularis is a lianescent plant, widespread in a variety of habitats but always in areas of low rainfall such as: thicket, Acacia woodland, grassland with scattered trees, termite mounds, riverine thicket, coastal forest edges, sandy banks of rivers, outwash gully in dense mixed thicket etc. It climbs 8–10 m over forest/jungle vegetation, or sprawls in the absence of any support on the ground. In Africa it is sometimes grown near villages and also for stabilizing sand dunes. It is cultivated as a greenhouse succulent and even as a house plant.
- Cissus quadrangularis L.
Cissus quadrangularis L.
Syst. Nat., ed. 12. 2: 124 1767.
- Cissus quadrangularis L.
Cissus quadrangularis var. acuteangula Verdc.
Fl. Trop. E. Africa, Vit. 43 (1993)
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Cissus quadrangularis var. pubescens Dewit
Bull. Jard. Bot. État Bruxelles 29: 297 (1959)
ENGLISH: edible stemmed vine, , adamant creeper, grape leaf, veld grape, devil's backbone
BENGALI (বাংলা): হাড়জোড়া
FRENCH (Français): raisin de Galam, cissus de Galam, vigne de Bakel
HINDI ( हिन्दी): हड़जोड़
KINYARWANDA (Ikinyarwanda): Umubogora
MALAYALAM (മലയാളം): ചങ്ങലംപരണ്ട
ORIYA (ଓଡି଼ଆ): ହାଡ଼ଭଙ୍ଗା
TAMIL (தமிழ்): பிரண்டை
TELUGU (తెలుగు): నల్లేరు
THAI (ภาษาไทย): เพชรสังฆาต
VIETNAMESE (Tiếng Việt): Hồ đằng bốn cạnh
Description: Cissus quadrangularis is an herbaceous perennial succulent liane 0,9-15 m long or somewhat shrubby, and forming dense masses. It is frequently leafless, The stems are more or less glabrous, branched, thick, succulent, and constricted at regular intervals. They are 4-angled, square in cross section, the 4 angles are prominent, narrow, often reddish and smooth. The flowers are pink and white 2 mm long. The berries are red when ripe and contains one or two seeds.
Roots: Root-tubers present.
Stems: (0.5)1–1.5(-5) cm in diameter excluding wings, fleshy, constricted at regular intervals with internodes 8 to 10 cm long, quadrangular in cross section with wings at the angles 2–15 mm broad, glabrous or pubescent or pubescent only at the angles, the angles with a reddish brown, leathery marginal line, almost leafless when old. Old stems woody with grey bark. Annual rings are absent in Cissus quadrangularis.
Leaves: Somewhat fleshy, membranous, simple, at the nodes, glabrous on both sides or sparingly pubescent. Each has a tendril emerging from the opposite side of the node. Petiole polygonal in cross-section, (1-)6-12(-30) mm long, glabrous. Stipules ovate-triangular, 3 - 5 x 3 - 5 mm, deciduous. Blade up to 3-5 cm long and 3-5( or more) cm wide, very broadly ovate entire, sometimes 3-lobed or deeply dissected, terminal lobe triangular or sub-spathulate, dentate at the margin, apex obtuse, base truncate to cordate.
Tendrils: Present, long, slender and simple.
Inflorescence (compound umbelliform cymes): Axillary, peduncle 1-2.5 (or more) cm in length, few-flowered, sparingly branched, glabrous or pubescent. Pedicels 3 mm. long lengthening to 9 mm. in fruit.
Flowers: Small white, yellowish, or greenish. Flower-bud 2–3 mm long, glabrous. Calyx 1 mm long, cuplike, entire, truncate or obsurely lobed, green, c. 2 mm broad, glabrous. Petals 4, distinct, ovate-oblong, acute, hooded at apex, c. 1.5 mm long. Disc longer than the ovary. Ovary glabrous. Style slender up to 1–5 mm long, stigma small.
Fruit: Ovoid to globular, succulent, very acidic, red when ripe, up to 8-12 × 5-8 mm, glabrous. 1 (or two) seeded.
Seeds: Compressed-ellipsoid, 5 mm long, 4 mm broad, smooth with single dorsal crest.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Cissus quadrangularis group
- Cissus quadrangularis L.
- Cissus quadrangularis var. acuteangula Verdc.: has angles of stems rough with numerous small prickles. Sides striate, minutely granular. Leaves to 10 x 15 cm, distinctly lobed. Distribution: NE Kenya.
- Cissus quadrangularis var. pubescens Dewit: has stems slender, shortly pubescent on the angles; Leaves distinctly 3- to 5-lobed, densely pubescent or ciliate on both faces. Distribution: Zaire, Ivory Coast to Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) African Plant Database (version 3.4.0). Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, "Retrieved [set month and year]", from <http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/>.
2) Burkill, H.M. “The useful plants of west tropical Africa”, Vol 5 1985.
3) H. Wild and R. B. Drummond “Flora Zambesiaca” FZ, Vol 2, Part 2,1966
4) Hwee Ling Koh “A Guide to Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated, Scientific and Medicinal Approach” World Scientific, 2009 Lulu.com, 01 February 2012
5) Fritz Hans Schweingruber, Annett Börner, Ernst-Detlef Schulze “Atlas of Stem Anatomy in Herbs, Shrubs and Trees”, Volume 1 Springer Science & Business Media, 18 March 2011
6) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons” Springer Science & Business Media, 2002
7) Fora of Pakistan “Cissus quadrangularis Linn., Mant. 39. 1767.” web: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=242444305
8) Bothalia 3: 243 (1937).
9) Food plants of Zimbabwe : 3 (1986).
10) LEBRUN, J. P. & A. L. STORK (1992). “Enumération des plantes à fleurs d?Afrique tropicale. Chrysobalanaceae à Apiaceae”. Énum. Pl. Fleurs Afr. Trop. 2:
11) “List South. African Succ. Pl”. : 161 (1997)
12) “Checklist Flow. Pl. Sub-Saharan Africa” : 678 (2006).
13) Darbyshire, I. Kordofami, M. & al. (2015). “The plants of Sudan and south Sudan, An annoted checklist”. Kew Publishing
14) “Syst. Nat.”, ed. 12 2: 124 (1767).
15) “Fl. Egypt (Boulos)” 2: 87 (2000).
Cultivation and Propagation: Cissus quadrangularis is a good climbing succulent in frost free zones and also a great container plant for full sun to partial shade.
Growth rate: It will grow best when provided with warmer temperatures, long daylight hours, adequate moisture and a rich soil. Given these conditions, this species will grow rapidly, with the annual vines growing to 50 cm and possibly to as much as 2 metres.
Exposure: Full sun to filtered light.
Soil: Give the plant a well drained, airy, growing medium which mainly consists of non organic material such us clay, pumice, lava grit, and only a little peat or leaf-mould.
Watering: Water regularly from spring to autumn. Keep the drier and cooler in winter, to induce dormancy. But others suggest to water it moderately all year round as it tends to be an opportunistic plant that tend to grow in each time of the year whenever it has enough water in fair weather and rest when temperatures are too hot or too cool and may have several or sometimes no growth cycles in a year. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. But it adapts to different growing conditions from extreme heat and drought, to high moisture as it has a low rot potential.
Fertilization: The plants should be fed regularly with a fertilizer suitable for succulent plants.
Hardiness: The optimal temperature is 16-30°C (USDA Zones: 10 -12 ).
Spring: When winter ends and they begin to grow again, they will require much water and soaking the pots will no longer put the plants at risk for rot. In the spring they will grow well in partial shade and leaving them out in the rain may provide them with the water they need.
Summer: In the summer months they will tolerate heavy rain, but will be just as happy if the season is dry. They will tolerate hot weather outdoors as long as they are kept in strongly filtered light and this will encourage them to flower. They also enjoy some fertiliser. Moving the plants as they are developing buds may cause them to spontaneously abort the flowers all together.
Autumn: In the fall keep them outdoors until the night time temperatures drop below the 10°C.
Winter: Winter care presents no problems at 10° C with plenty of light. In winter be sure to take extra precautions to keep them dry, because damp cool conditions when the plants are resting is an invitation to fungal infections, but - according to temperatures –some occasional lit watering may be useful.
Maintenance:In cultivation, these vines can be clipped to much shorter lengths to control rampant growth. This species do tend to get sort of leggy, which is particularly a problem if grown as a potted plant, and yearly pruning is often necessary to shape. Like quite small pots, repot in very later winter, early spring.
Garden uses: It is often grown in containers and trained to grow on trellises on verandahs, fences and in glasshouses.
Traditional uses: Cissus quadrangularis is an edible plant. The stem is cooked and eaten locally. In india it has been used as a medicinal plant since antiquity and is referred as “bone setter”, and is used to help heal fractures and injured ligaments and tendons. It has also been used in various Ayurvedic classical medicines such as ulcers, haemorrhoids, anorexia, indigestion, asthma, and wounds.
Pest and diseases: Cissus are generally fairly easy to grow, especially if kept pest-free. They are susceptible to stem and root mealy bugs, and damage from these may well initiate fungal attack. Any time when there is a dead or dying stem in the pot it is important to remove it immediately and completely before other healthy stems can become ill too, isolate the healthy parts, dry them off, and re-root them in new compost.
Propagation: It do not need to be propagated from seed as it make easily roots at the contact to the soil. Most plants in cultivation have been propagated by this means alone. Take cuttings in late spring to summer, just take a cutting of the plant let it dry for 1 or 2 weeks and stuff it in the ground (preferably dry, loose, extremely well draining soil).
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