Is it even a house plant? It was labeled as "florist" on the price tag so the staff weren't so sure about its' origins and suggested that it might be a dragonfruit or similarly related plant.

-I did prick it to see if it bled white sap like some Euphorbias, but it didn't bleed at all. Mystery Plant Dragonfruit

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    I am dying to find out what this is as well. Too weird, a succulent/cactus with 'real' leaves? – stormy May 22 '18 at 21:45

It is Cissus quadrangularis, a type of succulent often grown by cactus lovers, though it's actually a member of the grape family (Vitaceae). It produces these ivy like leaves at certain times, which it uses to try to climb or scramble over surrounding objects or plants. Does well in a hanging basket, when most of its growth will dangle downwards. Tolerates a fair bit of neglect, likes some sun, but more detailed instructions for care here https://www.logees.com/indoor/windowsill/veldt-grape-cissus-quadrangularis.html. Common names include Devil's backbone and veldt grape.

In maturity, it produces small yellow flowers followed by berry like fruits which turn red.

This plant is used medicinally and extracts from it in pill or powder form are often used by people with torn muscles or musculo skeletal damage, and in ayurvedic medicine. There's a fun blog about this plant here http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/infomercial-pitchman-cissus.html

  • Really? That's pretty cool. I wouldn't have suspected it'd be a member of the grape family! – Beeface May 23 '18 at 6:38
  • Yea, weird isn't it...doesn't seem possible, but apparently, it is! – Bamboo May 23 '18 at 9:08
  • Wait, if it's in the grape family it's NOT a cactus. It lacks areoles which all in the Cactaceae family have. Areoles are not optional in the cactus club. It is also an Old World native, which also excludes it. In actual cactus the spines are modified leaves and the tubercles are modified leaf stems. They do not have vascular leaves, ever. – Tim Nevins May 23 '18 at 14:10
  • This is NOT a cactus. I don't know why my previous detailed comment didn't appear. A plant cannot be in two plant families at once. If it's a grape, it's a grape. It can't be part time in two families. – Tim Nevins May 23 '18 at 14:17
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    I think you were fine prior to the edit, and sticklers being sticklers. – JoshDM May 23 '18 at 15:50

"Cissus quadrangularis"

Scientific classification

  1. Kingdom: Plantae
  2. Clade: Angiosperms
  3. Clade: Eudicots
  4. Clade: Rosids
  5. Order: Vitales
  6. Family: Vitaceae
  7. Genus: Cissus
  8. Species: C. quadrangularis

Cissus quadrangularis is a perennial plant of the grape family. It is also known as veld grape, devil's backbone, adamant creeper, asthisamharaka, hadjod, pirandai, and patah tulang (Malay).Wikipedia


A perennial herbaceous climber. Stem thick, succulent, quadrangular, angles winged, constricted at nodes, glabrous or slightly downy, almost leafless when old. Tendril long, slender, simple. Petiole 6-12 mm long, glabrous. Leaves simple ovate, entire or cordate, serrulate dentate, or crenate-serrate, 3-lobed, terminal lobe triangular or sub-spathulate, subacute or ± cuspidate, membranous, glabrous on both sides, 3-5 x 5-3 cm; stipules ovate or cuneate, obtuse, deciduous. Inflorescence a compound umbelliform cymes, peduncle 1-2.5 cm long. Flower pink and white, 2 mm long, hypanthium cuplike, truncate or obsurely lobed, green, c. 2 mm broad. Petals 4,distinct, ovate-oblong, acute, hooded at apex, c. 1.5 mm long. Disc longer than the ovary. Ovary glabrous, style slender subulate, stigma small. Berry globose, red, succulent, very acidic, 6-10 mm in diameter, 1 seeded. Seed obovoid smooth, 4-8 mm across.Indian science publication

  • I haven't seen a picture of one flowering or covered in berries. I now wonder what the flowers would smell like and can't wait for my little backbone to get to that stage! – Beeface Jun 1 '18 at 3:10

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