Prota 2: Vegetables/Légumes
DC., Monogr. phan. 5(2): 473 (1887).
Origin and geographic distribution
Cissus palmatifida has been recorded from Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Sudan.
The leaves of Cissus palmatifida are used in the preparation of sauces. The ripe fruit has edible pulp.
No information is available on the chemical composition of Cissus palmatifida. 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.
Perennial herb trailing or climbing with few leaf-opposed, simple tendrils; stem glabrescent. Leaves alternate, digitately 3–5-lobed; petiole 2.5–5 cm long; blade c. 11 cm long, base truncate to slightly cordate, lobes deeply lobulate. Inflorescence a cyme with umbel-like, 6–12-flowered clusters. Flowers bisexual, 4-merous, yellow; calyx cup-shaped, 1 mm long, entire; petals c. 1 mm long; ovary superior, subglobose, style subulate. Fruit a subglobose berry 4–5 mm in diameter, black, 1-seeded.
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.
Cissus palmatifida occurs in savanna woodland.
Genetic resources and breeding
Cissus palmatifida is fairly widespread and is not liable to genetic erosion. No germplasm collections are maintained.
Cissus palmatifida will probably remain a food plant of local importance. Several pharmacological effects of Cissus species, e.g. antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory, are of interest. However, as no medicinal uses are recorded for Cissus palmatifida, it is unlikely to figure as a priority species for research.
• Baker, J.G., 1868. Ampelideae. In: Oliver, D. (Editor). Flora of tropical Africa. Volume 1. L. Reeve & Co, Ashford, United Kingdom. pp. 385–416.
• Burkill, H.M., 2000. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 5, Families S–Z, Addenda. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom. 686 pp.
• Keay, R.W.J., 1958. Ampelidaceae. In: Keay, R.W.J. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 1, part 2. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 671–683.
• 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.
Correct citation of this article:
Bosch, C.H., 2004. Cissus palmatifida (Baker) Planch. In: Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (Editors). PROTA 2: Vegetables/Légumes. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.