Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Cissus verticillata
(possum grape vine)

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Datasheet

Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 10 July 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Cissus verticillata
  • Preferred Common Name
  • possum grape vine
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Cissus verticillata is a large, climbing species cultivated as an ornamental and medicinal plant around the world. It is native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Once established, C. verticillat...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves and flowers. nr. Villavieja, Tatacoa Desert, Huila Department, Colombia. November 2017.
TitleHabit
CaptionCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves and flowers. nr. Villavieja, Tatacoa Desert, Huila Department, Colombia. November 2017.
Copyright©Franz Xaver/via wikipedia- CC BY-SA 4.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves and flowers. nr. Villavieja, Tatacoa Desert, Huila Department, Colombia. November 2017.
HabitCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves and flowers. nr. Villavieja, Tatacoa Desert, Huila Department, Colombia. November 2017.©Franz Xaver/via wikipedia- CC BY-SA 4.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); smothering habit. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
TitleSmothering habit
CaptionCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); smothering habit. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); smothering habit. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
Smothering habitCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); smothering habit. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves. September 2016.
TitleLeaves
CaptionCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves. September 2016.
Copyright©Krzysztof Ziarnek (Kenraiz)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves. September 2016.
LeavesCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves. September 2016.©Krzysztof Ziarnek (Kenraiz)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves and flowers. Parque Olhos D'Água, Brazil. April 2010.
TitleHabit
CaptionCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves and flowers. Parque Olhos D'Água, Brazil. April 2010.
Copyright©João Medeiros/via wikipedia CC BY 2.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves and flowers. Parque Olhos D'Água, Brazil. April 2010.
HabitCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); habit, showing leaves and flowers. Parque Olhos D'Água, Brazil. April 2010.©João Medeiros/via wikipedia CC BY 2.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); flowers. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
TitleFlowers
CaptionCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); flowers. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); flowers. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
FlowersCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); flowers. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); fruit. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
TitleFruit
CaptionCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); fruit. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Cissus verticillata (possum grape vine); fruit. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
FruitCissus verticillata (possum grape vine); fruit. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Cissus verticillata (L.) Nicolson & C.E.Jarvis

Preferred Common Name

  • possum grape vine

Other Scientific Names

  • Cissus albonitens Linden & André
  • Cissus andraeana Planch.
  • Cissus argentea Linden
  • Cissus blumeana Steud.
  • Cissus canescens Lam.
  • Cissus compressicaulis Ruiz & Pav.
  • Cissus cordifolia L.
  • Cissus digitinervis Ram.Goyena
  • Cissus elliptica Schltdl. & Cham.
  • Cissus endresii H.J.Veitch
  • Cissus glauca Thwaites
  • Cissus gonavensis Urb. & Ekman
  • Cissus haitiensis Urb. & Ekman
  • Cissus lamarckiana Schult. & Schult.f.
  • Cissus latifolia Descourt.
  • Cissus lindenii André
  • Cissus nitida Vell.
  • Cissus obscura DC.
  • Cissus obtusata Benth.
  • Cissus officinalis Klotzsch
  • Cissus ovata Lam.
  • Cissus oxyodon Planch.
  • Cissus plumeri Planch.
  • Cissus puncticulosa Rich.
  • Cissus reticulata Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.
  • Cissus sicyoides L.
  • Cissus smilacina Kunth
  • Cissus tamoides Cambess.
  • Cissus tucumana Suess.
  • Cissus umbrosa Kunth
  • Cissus venatorum Descourt.
  • Irsiola sicyoides (L.) Raf.
  • Phoradendron verticillatum (L.) Druce
  • Spondylantha aphylla C. Presl
  • Viscum verticillatum L.
  • Vitis albonitens (Linden & André) G. Nicholson
  • Vitis elliptica (Schltdl. & Cham.) Hemsl.
  • Vitis lindenii (André) G. Nicholson
  • Vitis sicyoides (L.) Miq.

International Common Names

  • English: curtain ivy; millionaire vine; princess vine; season vine; tropical grape vine
  • Spanish: bejuco de agua; bejuco loco; bejuco picamano; come mano; pica pica; picamano; sanalo todo; uvita

Local Common Names

  • Argentina: cortina del cielo
  • Costa Rica: bejuco yazú
  • Dominican Republic: vinagrillo; bejuco caro; bejuco de parra; caro
  • Haiti: feuilles cotaire; herbe à ulcéres; liane minguet; liane molle
  • Lesser Antilles: godmort; liane-à-chasseurs; lianeà-eau; liane-brulante; liane-corde; liane-douce; liane-molle; pudding bush; snake vine
  • Mexico: tripa de vaca; tripa de zopilote
  • Peru: uvilla de culebra

Summary of Invasiveness

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Cissus verticillata is a large, climbing species cultivated as an ornamental and medicinal plant around the world. It is native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Once established, C. verticillata grows climbing over the top of the canopy and supporting itself by means of coiled tendrils, or scrambling over the ground. It is common to find this species engulfing entire trees. If the plant is cut, the remaining branches and stems can develop aerial roots that will find their way to the ground, regenerating new. C. verticillata is regarded as a weed in areas within and outside its native distribution range. It was reported in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas in 2003 and may pose a potential weed problem in the citrus groves there and in Florida.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Rhamnales
  •                         Family: Vitaceae
  •                             Genus: Cissus
  •                                 Species: Cissus verticillata

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The family Vitaceae comprises 17 genera and about 955 species of lianas, vines, and rarely shrubs distributed in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions of the world. Within the Vitaceae, the genus Cissus is the most diverse with about 350 species (Lombardi, 2017; Stevens, 2017). Cissus verticillata is a highly variable species and classifications recognizing up to 4 subspecies based on differences among size and form of the leaves and the inflorescences have been proposed (Lombardi, 2000; Lombardi, 2015). Some of the information cited here is for the species C. sicyoides; although some authors still maintain C. sicyoides as a distinct species, the majority of more recent works treat it as a synonym of C. verticillata (Useful Tropical Plants, 2020).

Description

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The following is based on the description by Acevedo-Rodríguez (2005): Large vine, that climbs by means of tendrils and attains more than 10 m in length. Stems fleshy, with abundant watery latex, cylindrical when young, flattened when mature, attaining 5 cm in diameter, the nodes swollen. Leaves alternate, coriaceous, ovate, 5-12 × 3.8-6.5 cm, the apex acute or rounded, the base cordiform, the margins revolute, denticulate; upper surface green, shiny; lower surface green, dull, with prominent venation; petioles 2-5 cm long, sulcate; stipules 2.5-3.5 mm long, auriculate; tendrils opposite the leaves, simple or bifurcate, up to 25 cm long, twisting in the form of a spiral. Inflorescences of compound cymes that are borne opposite the leaves; pedicels ca. 3 mm long, yellowish green or reddish. Calyx yellowish green or reddish, 0.7-1 mm long; petals 4, yellowish or pink, oblong-lanceolate, 2-2.5 mm long, deciduous; disc annular, yellow, 0.5-0.8 mm high. Fruits globose, fleshy, 0.7-1 cm in diameter, shiny, dark violet or black, with one or two seeds inside.

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated
Vine / climber

Distribution

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Cissus verticillata is native to the Americas, from Florida and Mexico to Argentina and Chile including the West Indies (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; USDA-ARS, 2020). It has been introduced and can be found naturalized in Bangladesh, Texas, Hawaii and the Cook Islands (French et al., 2003; PIER, 2020; POWO, 2020). In the Bahamas, this species is listed as both native (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012) and an alien invasive (Smith, 2010).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jul 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Asia

BangladeshPresentIntroducedPOWO (2020)

North America

AnguillaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Antigua and BarbudaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
ArubaPresentNativeNaturalis Biodversity Center (2017)
BahamasPresentAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012); Smith (2010)Sources differ as to whether it is native or introduced. Cited as Cissus sicyoides where listed as introduced and invasive
BarbadosPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
BelizePresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
BermudaPresentNativePOWO (2020)Listed as Cissus sicyoides
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
-BonairePresentNativeNaturalis Biodversity Center (2017)
-SabaPresentNativeNaturalis Biodversity Center (2017)
-Sint EustatiusPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
British Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)Anegada, Guana, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Cayman IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Costa RicaPresentNativePOWO (2020)
CubaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)Listed (as Cissus sicyoides) as a weed in citrus groves
CuraçaoPresentNativeNaturalis Biodversity Center (2017)
DominicaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Dominican RepublicPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
El SalvadorPresentNativePOWO (2020)
GrenadaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
GuadeloupePresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
GuatemalaPresentNativePOWO (2020)
HaitiPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
HondurasPresentNativePOWO (2020)
JamaicaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
MartiniquePresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
MexicoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Campeche, Chiapas, Colima, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Yucatan
MontserratPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Netherlands AntillesPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
NicaraguaPresentNativePOWO (2020)
PanamaPresentNativePOWO (2020)
Puerto RicoPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Saint LuciaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Saint MartinPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Sint MaartenPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNativePOWO (2020)
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
United StatesPresentUSDA-ARS (2020)
-FloridaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2020)
-TexasPresentIntroducedFrench et al. (2003)Cited as Cissus sicyoides. Listed as a potentially exotic pest

Oceania

Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedPOWO (2020)

South America

ArgentinaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
BoliviaPresentNativePOWO (2020)
BrazilPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-AcrePresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-AlagoasPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-AmapaPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-AmazonasPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-BahiaPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-CearaPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Distrito FederalPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Espirito SantoPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-GoiasPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-MaranhaoPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Mato GrossoPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Minas GeraisPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-ParaPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-ParaibaPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-ParanaPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-PernambucoPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-PiauiPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Rio Grande do NortePresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-RondoniaPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-RoraimaPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Santa CatarinaPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-Sao PauloPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-SergipePresentNativeLombardi (2015)
-TocantinsPresentNativeLombardi (2015)
ChilePresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
ColombiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
EcuadorPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
French GuianaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
GuyanaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
ParaguayPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
PeruPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
SurinamePresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)
VenezuelaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2020)

History of Introduction and Spread

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The roots of C. verticillata have been imported into Europe since the 16th century for medicinal use. Ethno-pharmacological usage of this species appears in texts dating back to 1582 and 1829 (Drobnik and de Oliveira, 2015). In Hawaii, it was introduced in the 1970s (PIER, 2020; USDA-NRCS, 2020).

Habitat

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Cissus verticillata grows in disturbed areas, pastures and roadsides, dry to wet thickets, moist forests and coastal thickets (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005; Useful Tropical Plants, 2020). It can be found climbing over shrubs, trees, fences, old buildings and electricity poles (Smith, 2010). Cut vines in the canopy are able to send long root tendrils down to the ground to re-root (Pettit, 2016).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Cissus verticillata is listed as a weed in orchards, pineapple plantations and in grapefruit and orange groves (Acuña, 1974; Futch and Hall, 2003; French et al., 2003; Brenes-Prendas and Agüero-Alvarado, 2007; Vibrans, 2009; Randall, 2017). 

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Ananas comosus (pineapple)BromeliaceaeMain
Citrus spp.Main

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for C. verticillata is 2n = 48 (Flora of North America Editorial Committee, 2018)

Physiology and Phenology

In the West Indies, C. verticillata has been reported flowering and fruiting throughout the year (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005)

Longevity

Cissus verticillata is a perennial fast-growing vine (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005).

Environmental Requirements

Cissus verticillata grows in a wide range of climates and soil types at elevations from near sea level up to 1800 m (Lombardi, 2000; Acevedo, 2005; Vibrans, 2009).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
35 40

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Maconellicoccus hirsutus Herbivore Fruits/pods/Growing point/Leaves not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Cissus verticillata plants are affected by the parasitic fungus Mycosyrinx cissi, which causes the inflorescences to become deformed, producing numerous sterile branches (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005). C. verticillata has been reported as a host for the pink hibiscus mealybug (PHMB) Maconellicoccus hirsutus, a serious economic threat to agriculture, forestry and the nursery industry in most tropical areas worldwide (Sagarra and Peterkin, 1999; Meyerdirk et al., 2001). In the Caribbean, biological control using the predatory beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and the parasitoid Anagyrus kamali, was highly effective in bringing the PHMB populations under control (Sagarra and Peterkin, 1999).

In Florida, C. verticillata is the only verified host plant of the weevil Eurhinus magnificus which completes its entire life cycle within it; eggs are laid within the stem where the larvae hatch and feed. The larvae complete five instars within a gall formed at the site of oviposition before pupating. Adults emerge from the host plant gall to feed on C. verticillata, mate and oviposit (Ulmer et al., 2007).

In Trinidad, C. verticillata (as C. scyiodes) is listed as a food plant for the forest grasshopper Coscineuta virens (McComie, 1994).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Cissus verticillata spreads by seeds and vegetatively via rooting from stem fragments and broken offshoots. The fleshy fruits are dispersed mostly by birds (French et al., 2003; Smith, 2010).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
DisturbanceCommon in disturbed areas, pastures, roadsides Yes Yes Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005
Garden waste disposalStem fragments, fruits Yes Yes Smith, 2010
HorticultureCultivated as an ornamental Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2020
Internet salesSold online Yes Yes
Medicinal useRoots used in traditional medicine Yes Yes Useful Tropical Plants, 2020
Ornamental purposesCultivated as an ornamental Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2020

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesStem fragments, fruits Yes Yes Smith, 2010
MailSold online Yes Yes
Host and vector organismsSeeds dispersed by birds Yes Yes Smith, 2010

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Positive

Economic Impact

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Cissus verticillata is regarded as a weed in areas within and outside its native distribution range of the Americas (Acuña, 1974; Futch and Hall, 2003; Brenes-Prendas and Agüero-Alvarado, 2007; Smith, 2010; Randall, 2017; PIER, 2020). In the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, C. verticillata was reported affecting agricultural crops such as citrus (grapefruits and oranges) by completely covering them (French et al., 2003).

Environmental Impact

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Cissus verticillata is an invasive fast-growing vine that climbs and completely covers shrubs and trees, forming a thick canopy and blocking sunlight to the understorey native plants. This species has the potential to smother native vegetation by killing host trees, outcompeting understorey plants and negatively affecting the germination and establishment of native seedlings (French et al., 2003; Smith, 2010). C. verticillata is able to cover small trees with its foliage. Species affected in this way include Quercus virginiana (live oak), Salix nigra (black willow), Salix exigua (sandbar willow), Melia azedarach (Chinaberry), Sapium sebiferum (Chinese tallow) and Carica papaya (papaya) (French et al., 2003).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Host damage
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Competition - strangling
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Uses

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Cissus verticillata is cultivated as an ornamental and medicinal plant. The stems and roots are used as cordage and to make baskets. The leaves are macerated in water and used as soap. Leaf decoctions are taken widely as a popular remedy for diabetes in Brazil, where its common name is “vegetal insulin”. Leaves, stems, sap and roots are used in traditional medicines and cultural rituals by indigenous people in the Americas (Lombardi, 2000; Pepato et al., 2003). In the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, C. verticillata is used as an anti-diabetic agent and as a treatment for urinary problems (Lans, 2006).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity

General

  • Ritual uses

Materials

  • Baskets
  • Fibre

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • garden plant

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Physical/Mechanical Control

As there are no known biological herbicides available for eradication or control of C. verticillata, plants have to be manually removed (French et al., 2003).

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., 2005. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, Washington, USA: Department of Systematic Biology - Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution 51, 483 pp.

Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., Strong, M. T., 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies, Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Acuña G., J., 1974. Undesirable plants in Cuban crops. (Plantas indeseables en los cultivos cubanos). In: Plantas indeseables en los cultivos cubanos . Havana, Cuba: Academia de Ciencias de Cuba.241pp.

Brenes-Prendas, S., Agüero-Alvarado, R., 2007. Weed surveys and identification, and description of their control strategies in four pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) farms in Costa Rica. (Reconocimiento taxonómico de arvenses y descripción de su manejo, en cuatro fincas productoras de piña (Ananas comosus L.) en Costa Rica). Agronomía Mesoamericana, 18(2), 239-246. http://redalyc.uaemex.mx/redalyc/src/inicio/HomRevRed.jsp?iCveEntRev=437

Drobnik, J., Oliveira, A. B. de, 2015. Cissus verticillata (L.) Nicolson and C.E. Jarvis (Vitaceae): its identification and usage in the sources from 16th to 19th century. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 171, 317-329. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.06.003

Flora of North America Editorial Committee, 2018. Flora of North America North of Mexico. In: Flora of North America North of Mexico St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria.http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1

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Distribution References

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong M T, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. 1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

French JV, Lonard RI, Everitt JH, 2003. Cissus sicyoides C. Linnaeus (Vitaceae), a potential exotic pest in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Subtropical Plant Sciences. 72-74.

Lombardi JA, 2015. Vitaceae. List of species of flora of Brazil. (Vitaceae. Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil)., Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/jabot/floradobrasil/FB21572

Naturalis Biodversity Center, 2017. Dutch Caribbean Species Register., Leiden, The Netherlands: Naturalis Biodversity Center. https://www.dutchcaribbeanspecies.org/

PIER, 2020. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

POWO, 2020. Plants of the World Online. In: Plants of the World Online, London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org

Smith R L, 2010. Invasive Alien Plant Species of the Bahamas and Biodiversity Management. Thesis. Institute of Environmental Sciences, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA:

USDA-ARS, 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database, Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Contributors

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11/02/2020 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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