ISI 2005-14. Cissus phymatocarpa Masinde & L. E. Newton

Of the succulent species of Cissus, the fleshy stems may be round in cross section, ovoid, square, rectangular or with more angles. C. quinquangularis (ISI 1071, available as an unrooted cutting for $3) is the only commonly available species with 5-angled stems and, therefore, pentagonal in cross-section. C. phymatocarpa, described in 1993, is another with 4- or mostly 5-angled stems that has not as yet become widely cultivated. It differs in its more glaucous, gray-green rather than dark green stems, more prominently warty, red, berry-like fruits and more southerly distribution, from SE Kenya to E Tanzania, in coastal thickets on coral rocks and at forest edges to 900 m. Rooted cuts of HBG 76359, from material originally collected by Len Newton (4438), about 40 km W of Malindi, Kenya. $5.

stem detail

Photo © 2005 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 77 (2), March - April, 2005