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  1. Family: Vitaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Cissus L.
      1. Cissus cactiformis Gilg

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia toKwaZulu-Natal.


    Vitaceae, Bernard Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1993

    Glabrous succulent grey-green or green and liver-coloured climber or scrambler 1.2–4.5 m. long; root-tubers present; stems quadrangular with massive wings, constricted at the nodes, striate and wrinkled in the dry state; faces 2–7(–8) cm. wide; wings or lobes 0.2–3 cm. wide the reddish brown horny margins usually markedly crinkly; internodes (5–)11–17 cm. long; tendrils straw-coloured, stout, 15–40 cm. long, simple, ridged and glabrous.
    Leaves rarely seen, succulent, palmately lobed, 1–2 cm. long, 0.9–3.7 cm. wide; stipules ovate, 7 mm. long, 5 mm. wide.
    Inflorescences several-branched, up to 10(–15) cm. long or sometimes ± fasciculate with axes suppressed, glabrous; peduncles and axes 1–3.5 cm. long; ultimate umbel-like elements 7–10 mm. long and wide; pedicels purple-tipped, ± 3 mm. long, glabrous; bracts triangular to lanceolate, 3–4 mm. long, ± amplexicaul, scarious.
    Calyx purplish outside, depressed cupular, 1–1.5 mm. diameter, glabrous.
    Petals greenish yellow or greenish white, often flushed dull purplish outside, oblong-ovate, 2–2.5 mm. long, 1.5 mm. wide, cucullate, glabrous.
    Ovary and style green, stigma yellow.
    Filaments green; anthers yellow.
    Fruits subglobose, green with minute pale green dots, turning red then purple, 0.9–1.3 cm. long, 0.8–1 cm. wide, smooth.
    Seed ovoid, 8 mm. long, 6 mm. wide, smooth.
    Fig. 9; 10/1, 2, p.42.
    Commiphora, Kirkia and Acacia, Combretum, Diospyros, etc., woodland, mixed bushland of Commiphora, Acacia, Sterculia, Euphorbia, Entada, Boswellia, etc., usually in stony places, rock domes, etc.; (30–)200–1500 m.
    K1 K2 K4 K6 K7 T1 T2 T3 T5 T7 Occasionally grown as a greenhouse succulent or houseplant


    Native to:

    Ethiopia, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique, Northern Provinces, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Other Data

    Cissus cactiformis Gilg appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Drummond, R.B. [1210a], Kenya 11531.000


    First published in H.G.A.Engler (ed.), Pflanzenw. Ost-Afrikas, C: 258 (1895)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) in Thulin, M. (ed.) (1999). Flora of Somalia 2: 1-303. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Verdcourt, B. (1993). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Vitaceae: 1-149.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1989 publ. 1990). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 3: 1-659. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.

    Not accepted by

    • Exell, A.W., Fernandes, A. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1966). Flora Zambesiaca 2(2): 353-653. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Cited as Cissus quadrangularis.]


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Vollesen in Fl. Ethiopia 3: 408 (1990).
    • Kuchar, Somalia Checklist: 168 (1986).
    • A.D.Q. Agnew, Upland Kenya Wild Flowers p. 341, fig. 342 (1974).
    • Rauh, Die Gross Welt Sukk.: 114, t. 55/7 (1967).
    • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 230 (1962).
    • H. Jacobsen, Handb. Succ. Pl. 1: 273, fig. 263 (1960).
    • Cufod., Enumeratio Plantarum Aethiopiae Spermatophyta (Supplement in Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux.) p. 506 (1958).
    • Suesseng. in A. Engler & K. Prantl, Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien, ed. 2, 20d: 262 (1953).
    • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 28 (1949).
    • Bally in Journ. E. Afr. Nat.Hist Soc. 16 (71 & 72): 122, t. 41/4 (1942).
    • Chiov., Fl. Somala 2: 141 (1932).
    • Chiov. in Agric. Colon. 20: 44 (1926)
    • A. Engler & O. Drude, Die Vegetation Der Erde, IX, Pflanzenwelt Afrikas 3(2): 326, fig. 151/A–D (1921).
    • Gilg & Brandt in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 46: 482, fig. 5/A–D (1912).
    • Gilg in A. Engler & K. Prantl, Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien 3(5): 452, fig. 220/A–D (1896).
    • Gilg in Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile C: 258 (1895).


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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    Kew Backbone Distributions
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    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.