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Cissus dinklagei Gilg & Brandt

Protologue
Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 46: 476 (1912).
Family
Vitaceae
Origin and geographic distribution
Cissus dinklagei is found from Cameroon to DR Congo, Gabon and Angola.
Uses
The leaves of Cissus dinklagei are eaten in Gabon as a vegetable. The taste is acid, not unlike that of sorrel (Rumex) and Cissus producta Afzel. The cut stems exude copious, clear watery sap that is drunk in Gabon and in the DR Congo. In Equatorial Guinea it is given to babies to stimulate their growth.
Properties
No information is available on the chemical composition of Cissus dinklagei. Several other Cissus species, used in traditional medicine in South Africa, South America and Asia, have been the subject of investigation, and a wide range of compounds have been identified; several of these compounds showed anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antitumour activities.
Botany
Liana with few, leaf-opposed, simple tendrils; stem cylindrical, up to 30 m long. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules oblong-triangular, early caducous, 4 mm × 2.5 mm; petiole 1–4 cm long; blade ovate to deltoid or elliptical, up to 10 cm × 6 cm, base truncate to subcordate, apex acuminate, margin entire. Inflorescence a cyme with umbel-like clusters, 4–10 cm long. Flowers bisexual, 4-merous; calyx cup-shaped, 1 mm long, toothed; petals c. 3 mm long, green; ovary superior, glabrous. Fruit an ovoid berry c. 3 cm × 2 cm, red, 1-seeded. Seed ovoid-oblong, compressed, up to 17 mm long.
The genus Cissus is closely related to Cyphostemma and comprises about 200 species. It is found all over the tropics and subtropics. Many Cissus species have uses in traditional medicine in Asia, South America, the Caribbean and in tropical Africa.
Ecology
Cissus dinklagei is a species of dense evergreen forest.
Genetic resources and breeding
In view of its wide distribution, genetic erosion of Cissus dinklagei is not likely.
Prospects
Several pharmacological effects of Cissus species, e.g. antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory, may be of interest for future developments. Research will be needed to fully evaluate the potential of Cissus dinklagei.
Major references
• Descoings, B., 1972. Vitaceae. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 13. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. pp. 1–132.
• Dewit, J. & Willems, L., 1960. Vitaceae. In: Robyns, W., Staner, P., Demaret, F., Germain, R., Gilbert, G., Hauman, L., Homès, M., Jurion, F., Lebrun, J., Vanden Abeele, M. & Boutique, R. (Editors). Flore du Congo belge et du Ruanda-Urundi. Spermatophytes. Volume 9. Institut National pour l’Étude Agronomique du Congo belge, Brussels, Belgium. pp. 453–567.
• Raponda-Walker, A. & Sillans, R., 1961. Les plantes utiles du Gabon. Paul Lechevalier, Paris, France. 614 pp.
Other references
• Aguilar, N.O., 2001. Cissus L. In: van Valkenburg, J.L.C.H. & Bunyapraphatsara, N. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2). Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 155–159.
Author(s)
C.H. Bosch
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands


Editors
G.J.H. Grubben
Prins Hendriklaan 24, 1401 AT Bussum, Netherlands
O.A. Denton
National Horticultural Research Institute, P.M.B. 5432, Idi-Ishin, Ibadan, Nigeria
Associate Editors
C.-M. Messiaen
Bat. B 3, Résidence La Guirlande, 75, rue de Fontcarrade, 34070 Montpellier, France
R.R. Schippers
De Boeier 7, 3742 GD Baarn, Netherlands
General editors
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
Bosch, C.H., 2004. Cissus dinklagei Gilg & Brandt In: Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (Editors). PROTA 2: Vegetables/Légumes. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.