Botanical name: Coccinia grandis Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Synonyms: Coccinia indica
Ivy gourd is a tropical plant in the pumpkin family. Ivy gourd is an aggressive climbing vine that can spread quickly over trees, shrubs, fences and other supports. It is an outdoor plant but prefers a sunny sheltered position and a sandy soil. Being a perennial plant, it can spread vegetatively or by seed. The stem is a herbaceous climber or perennial slender climber with occasional adventitious roots forming where the stem runs along the ground. The tendrils are long, elastic with coil-like springy character that can wrap around the host to the entire length. The leaves are classified as palmately simple with five lobes while the shape varies from the heart to pentagon form. The size of the leaves is approximately 5 10 cm in width and length. The flower is large and white about 4 cm in diameter and contains five long tubular petals. The ivy gourd fruit belongs to the berry type: oval and hairless with thick and sticky skin. The raw fruit is green in color and turns bright red when it is ripe. The mature fruit is usually from 25 to 60 mm long by 15-35 mm in diameter and contains several pale, flattened seeds.
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