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Cissus (Cissus quadrangularis)


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Common names 

Veldt-grape, winged treebine, devil's backbone, asthisamharaka, adamant creeper, hadjod, pirandai [English]; vid hiedra [Spanish]; umubogora [Kinyarwanda]; হাড়জোড়া [Bengali]; हड़जोड़ [Hindi]; ചങ്ങലംപരണ്ട [Malayalam]; பிரண்டை [Tamil]; เพชรสังฆาต [Thai] 


Cisssus quadrangularis is a deciduous, woody climber belonging to the grape family. Stems are succulent, quadrangular, sometimes pubescent at the angles. Leaves are simple and reniform. Fruits are ovoid, red when ripe (Aluka, 2009). In South Africa, it is used by farmers for treating worm infestations and coughs in livestock (Kunene et al., 2003). It is an important medicinal plant in Southern and South East Asia. In India, stems are also eaten fried or curried (Aguilar, 2001).


It is widespread in the tropics: tropical Africa, Arabia, Madagascar, India and Sri Lanka. It is naturalized in Vietnam, Thailand, Java, the Moluccas and the Philippines. It thrives in arid or semi-arid regions, near the coast and up to an altitude of 300 m (Aguilar, 2001).

Environmental impact 

Cissus quadrangularis is reported to be a noxious weed in Oman, destroying other shrubs, particularly acacias, by climbing and smothering them (Osman, 2001).

Nutritional aspects
Potential constraints 

It is suspected to cause significant loss of livestock (sheep and goats) in the Sudan (Barakat et al., 1985).


It is unpalatable to animals (Okoti et al., 2004).


No information on the use of Cissus quadrangularis in rabbit feeding could be found in the international literature (as of February 2021) .

However this plant has been used to treat rabbits after experimental burn as complementary medicine (500 mg dried stems daily in distilled water per kg body weight) with only positive consequences (Swaband 2014). Actually, different parts of Cissus quadrangularis are largely used in traditional human medicine in Indian sub-continent (Ara, 2015). The fact that small quantities are safe (and useful) in the wounded rabbits treatment does not mean that this potential particular forage (20% CP and 19% crude fibre in DM) is necessarily safe if it represents 10% or 20% of a rabbits balanced diet (Talreja et al., 2014).

Thus any tentative to use Cissus quadrangularis stems or leaves in rabbit feeding must be done with caution.

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 
Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Lebas F., 2021. Cissus (Cissus quadrangularis). Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://feedipedia.org/node/593 Last updated on March 25, 2021, 16:05

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)