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Cissus quadrangularis - L.

Common Name Veldt Grape
Family Vitaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Scrub; thicket; Acacia woodland; grassland with scattered Combretum etc; termite mounds; riverine thicket; coastal forest edges; sandy banks of rivers; outwash gully in dense mixed thicket; at elevations from near sea level to 2,250 metres in Africa[ 328 ]
Range Throughout tropical Africa; through the Arabian Peninsula to the Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Cissus quadrangularis Veldt Grape

SAplants wikimedia.org
Cissus quadrangularis Veldt Grape
Frank Vincentz wikimedia.org


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Also known as Devil's Backbone, Adamant Creeper, and Pirandai, Veldt Grape or Cissus quadrangularis is a deciduous, succulent, climbing perennial plant that reaches up to 3 m long. The leaves are toothed and trilobe, and occur only on the nodes of young shoots. The small green or yellow flowers form into clusters. The fruit is red to black and round. The plant is tolerant to drought and can be used for xeriscaping. It is grown from stem cuttings. Medicinally, it is used in the treatment of asthma, hemorrhoids, wounds, broken bones, boils, burns, rheumatic pains, and indigestion. The young stems are cooked. The leaves and young shoots are used in the preparation of curries and poppadoms. The fruits are eaten and the seeds are used for cooking oil. Ash of the plant is used as a substitute for baking powder.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Cissus quadrangularis is an evergreen Climber growing to 5 m (16ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Cissus tetragona Harv. Vitis quadrangularis (L.) Wall. ex Wight & Arn. Vitis succulenta Galpin

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Shoots  Stem
Edible Uses:

Young green stems - cooked[ 310 ]. Usually fried or curried[ 310 ]. The leaves and young shoots are used in the preparation of poppadoms and curries[ 301 ]. Fruit[ 301 ]. The ash of the plant is used as a substitute for baking powder[ 310 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Analgesic  Anthelmintic  Antiasthmatic  Antifungal  Antihaemorrhoidal  Antirheumatic  Poultice

An infusion of the plant is antifungal and anthelmintic[ 317 ]. The pulped stem is given in the treatment of asthma; is used as an alterative in cases of amenorrhoea; and is given in the treatment of haemorrhoids[ 310 ]. The leaves or young stems are analgesic and also speed the rate of healing[ 646 ]. They are crushed and applied as a poultice to ease the pain of broken bones; for the maturation of boils; to cure wounds and burns; to ease the pain of rheumatic joints; and also as a treatment for saddle sores on horses[ 310 ]. The powdered dry roots are used for treating indigestion[ 310 ]. The powdered root is considered to be a specific in the treatment of fractured bones[ 310 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Fibre  Hedge  Soil stabilization

Other uses rating: Low (2/5). Agroforestry Uses: The plant is sometimes grown to stabilize sand dunes[ 328 ]. The plant can be grown to form a hedge[ 310 ]. Other Uses: The stems and roots yield a strong fibre[ 317 , 646 ].

Special Uses


References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of drier to arid regions, mainly in the lowland tropics and frost-free subtropics, though it can also be found at elevations over 2,000 metres. The plant is intolerant of any frost[ 423 ]. Succeeds in full sun to light shade[ 423 ]. Succeeds in most soils but prefers a loam[ 646 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Layers very easily[ 423 ]. Easily grown from stem cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

DevilÕs Backbone, Adamant Creeper, and Pirandai, Veldt Grape or Cissus quadrangularis. Other Names: Edible stemmed vine, veldt grape, devil's backbone, adamant creeper, asthisamharaka, hadjod, pirandai, Asthisanhara, Chaudhari, Chodhari, Choudhari, Hadjora, Harbhanga, Harjora, Harsankari, Hasjora, Itachovani, Kaktus manjat, Kan kaw, Kand-vel, Kandra, Karsankari, Lidzambiso, Mabope, Mafumo, Mangaroli, Mangaroli, Mhais-vel, Murunjurunju, Muvengahonye, Nalleru, Nullerootigch, Patah tulang, Pirandai, Purundei codie, Renja, Renjam Itachovani, Sam-roi-taw, San chakat, Sihlonhlwane, Suncaro, Umhlafutu, Vajravalli, Vedhari, Winged treebine.

Found In: Africa, Angola, Arabia, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa, Central African Republic, CAR, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, East Africa, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, North Africa, Northeastern India, Pacific, Pakistan, Philippines, SE Asia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Southern Africa, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, USA, Vietnam, West Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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