Some of the uses reported here are for the species Cissus sicyoides L.[
]. Whilst some treatments still maintain this as a distinct species, the majority of more recent works now treat it as a synonym of Cissus verticillata, the treatment we have followed here[
Cissus andraeana Planch.
Cissus canescens Lam.
Cissus compressicaulis Ruiz & Pav.
Cissus cordifolia L.
Cissus digitinervis Ram.Goyena
Cissus elliptica Schltdl. & Cham.
Cissus gonavensis Urb. & Ekman
Cissus lamarckiana Schult. & Schult. F.
Cissus nitida Vell.
Cissus obscura DC.
Cissus obtusata Benth.
Cissus officinalis Klotzsch
Cissus ovata Lam.
Cissus ovata Rich.
Cissus pallida Salisb.
Cissus plumeri Planch.
Cissus puncticulosa Rich.
Cissus sicyoides L.
Cissus smilacina Kunth
Cissus tamoides Cambess.
Cissus tucumana Suess.
Cissus umbrosa Kunth
Cissus venatorum Descourt.
Cissus verticillata laciniata (Baker) Lombardi
Hedera unifolia Vell.
Irsiola sicyoides (L.) Raf.
Phoradendron verticillatum (L.) Druce
Viscum verticillatum L.
Vitis cordifolia (L.) Morales
Vitis elliptica (Schltdl. & Cham.) Hemsl.
Vitis obtusata (Benth.) Hemsl.
Vitis sicyoides (L.) Baker
Vitis sicyoides (L.) Miq.
Vitis sicyoides (L.) Morales
Vitis vitiginea canescens (Lam.) Kuntze
Vitis vitiginea compressicaulis (Ruiz & Pav.) Kuntze
Vitis vitiginea cordifolia (L.) Kuntze
Vitis vitiginea elliptica (Schltdl. & Cham.) Kuntze
Vitis vitiginea laciniata (Baker) Kuntze
Vitis vitiginea ovata (Lam.) Kuntze
Vitis vitiginea sicyoides (L.) Kuntze
Vitis vitiginea smilacina (Kunth) Kuntze
Vitis vitiginea tamoides (Cambess.) Kuntze
Common Name: Princess Vine
A vigorously-growing plant, it is smothering the tree it has climbed
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Princess vine is often a very large, woody climbing shrub, frequently clambering over tall trees and supporting itself by means of coiled tendrils, or scrambling over the ground[
]. The plant emits many long aerial roots that dangle loosely from the tree branches or sometimes strike root in the ground. If the main stem is cut, the upper part of the plant continues to grow[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of fibres, soap and medicines. It is occasionally cultivated for its medicinal uses, and more commonly for its ornamental value[
S. America - Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, throughout S. America and Central America to Mexico; Caribbean - Trinidad, through the Caribbean to Florida.
Common or abundant in dry to wet thickets and forest, at elevations up to 1,200 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Called 'picamano' in Honduras and 'bejuco loco' in Tabasco. This is one of the most common and widely distributed of tropical American plants. It exhibits a great deal of variation in pubescence and leaf form, as a result of which numerous varieties have been named. Perhaps someone may find a basis for separating satisfactorily some of these forms, but with present material the lines of division are vague[
When cut, the stems yield a copious watery sap, which is mildly diuretic[
]. It is drunk as a treatment for fevers[
The sap is applied externally as a treatment for gangrene[
The sap is generally believed to cause blisters upon the skin, although we have never seen this demonstrated[
A decoction of the crushed stems, combined with wood ashes, is applied to the wounds of cattle. It is said to change the colour of their hair, which later resumes its natural colour[
The crushed leaves are applied externally as a poultice to treat snakebite, thrush, ulcers, sores, swellings etc., and to hasten the opening of boils[
The stems and roots are thick, tough and very flexible[
]. They are often used as cordage and, in Costa Rica, baskets are made from them[
The leaves, when macerated in water, give a suds like that of soap, which is sometimes utilized for washing clothes[
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