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Anredera cordifolia - (Ten.)Steenis.                
Common Name Madeira Vine, Heartleaf madeiravine
Family Basellaceae
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Naturalized in Texas, California and Florida in southern N. America where it grows in disturbed areas, fencerows and roadsides from sea level to 500 metres[270].
Range S. America - Southern Brazil to Northern Argentina.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Half Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Anredera cordifolia is a PERENNIAL CLIMBER growing to 9 m (29ft 6in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

USDA hardiness zone : 8-11

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Anredera cordifolia Madeira Vine, Heartleaf madeiravine

Anredera cordifolia Madeira Vine, Heartleaf madeiravine
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - cooked. We were supplied this plant by a friend who said that the root is edible. We have not seen any reports on its edibility. The raw root is crisp and pleasant when first put in the mouth, but soon degenerates into a mucilaginous mass described by some people as 'like eating catarrh' and in rather less flattering terms by others![K]. When well baked, the root loses this quality and is quite pleasant to eat[K]. Leaves cooked. Used as a spinach[264].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiinflammatory;  Hepatic.

The plant has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, and liver-protective effects[270].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a well-drained humus-rich soil and a position in full sun or good indirect light[200]. Established plants are drought tolerant[200]. This plant seldom, if ever, produces seeds[266]. We have very little information on this plant. The top growth is almost certainly not frost-hardy, though plants have continued growing in a polyhouse when other sensitive plants have died back as a result of frost damage[K]. The tubers have also survived outdoors in a sunny sheltered position for three winters outdoors (as of May 2004), the plant coming back into growth in late spring[K]. )The roots are likely to be hardier and, especially if well mulched, should survive most winters outdoors in the milder areas of the country. They are unlikely to survive sharp or persistent frosts. It should be possible to harvest the roots in the autumn after the top growth has been killed by frost and then store them in a cool but frost-free place for the winter, planting out in late spring (perhaps starting them off in a greenhouse beforehand)[K]. A climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around the thin branches of other plants[K].
Seed - we have no information on this plant, but, if seed can be obtained, suggest sowing it in a greenhouse in the spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in spring after the last expected frosts. Softwood cuttings. Division. Dig up the tubers at any time from late autumn to early spring. Store them in a cool but frost-free place and either pot them up in the greenhouse in early spring or plant them directly outside in late spring.
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[264]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Vegetables
Excellent and easily read book with good information and an excellent collection of photos of vegetables from around the world, including many unusual species.
[266] Flora of China
On-line version of the Flora - an excellent resource giving basic info on habitat and some uses.
[270] Flora of N. America
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Margaret RainbowWeb Sat Jan 8 05:46:25 2005
This plant has become naturalised in much of Australia, where it is (like many good food plants)a serious environmental weed. Propagation is simple once the vine has produced aerial tubers. These readily sprout and become new plants, if placed on moist soil. I should like to know if the aerial tubers are edible as well as the fundamental tuber.

Link: Bushland Friendly Nursery Scheme Australian site, funded by NSW EPA Environmental Trust, to discourage nurseries from selling potential weeds

Elizabeth H.
Thomas Clifford Thu Jul 6 2006
The related species, A. diffusa is used for wound treatment (cicatrizant) and has shown very good activity in a recent animal study (J. Nat. Prod., 69 (6), 978 -979, 2006). I have two questions: 1) does A.cordifolia share the same active component with A.diffusa? 2) Can A.diffusa be cultivated as an annual in a temperate region without it becoming a persistent weed?

Journal of Natural Products

Elizabeth H.
Stan. SWAN Tue Aug 29 2006
Recent reports in a NZ paper mentions this "pest" vine may have blood pressure lowering attributes,& rumoured aphrodisiac properties !

New Zealand "Stuff" news Pest vine credited with medicinal uses by Asians?

Elizabeth H.
Michael Wed Sep 5 2007
I just saw this plant being promoted in the Tokyo plant market as being a Chinese superfood whose leaves can be cooked and eaten. They are calling it okawakame which means literally 'land seaweed' (many kinds of seaweed are eaten here and considered to be beneficial to health as well as a delicacy) They even have a bunch of recepies on their home page ! Many health benefits are cited including stopping bleeding and its use by american troops in Okinawa during WW2. Though it wouldn't be the first 'noxious weed' which has a long and distinguished history of human use...

Plant details and recepie ideas Plant details and recepie ideas

Elizabeth H.
Michael Wed Sep 5 2007
Seems to be eaten in Okinawa too

Okinawa Banana more health and historical info (in Japanese - sorry !!)

Elizabeth H.
Mike Armitage Fri Jun 20 2008
leaves also excellent raw as an addition to salads. Grows outside here in SW France,cut to ground each yr. Tubers available from Peter Nyssen in Manchester
Mary O.
Oct 8 2014 12:00AM
This plant was given to my mother years ago. She was told that eating a leaf would get rid of cankor sores. No one in our family suffered from cankor sores but she grew anyway. I took a a cutting and grew it on my chain linked fence. It grew quite tenaciously near our beach home. When a child complained of a cankor sore I'd tell them to go pick a leaf and eat it. It worked. Recently, my grandson came down with a soar throat and fever. His mother was contemplating whether or not to keep him home. Out of fear for this new mid-west virus that spreading and putting so many children into the hospital I went and got some leaves (we now live in the mid west and I grow the plant indoors). In 1/2 hour later my grandsons fever and soar throat went away. The next day two of his siblings came down with the same but they refused to try the leaves. However, the next day they succumbed and Walla! They were instantly cured as well. Now every ones eating the leaves and getting cured. My poor plant is almost reduced to nothing ;). Anyway, I've been looking for other medicinal findings for this plant and am having a hard time. Anxious for some feedback. :)
Mary O
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Subject : Anredera cordifolia  

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