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ivy gourd, scarlet gourd

coccinia, ivy gourd

Habit Plants perennial, dioecious, climbing or trailing; stems annual, glabrous or glabrate [flocculent-arachnoid]; roots tuberous; tendrils unbranched [2-branched].

glabrous or glabrate, sometimes rooting at nodes.


petiole 1–5 cm;

blade 5–10 × 4–9 cm, base cordate with broad sinus, apex acute, mucronate, adaxial surface with 3–8 glands.

blade broadly ovate to rounded-cordate, subreniform, or deltate, unlobed or palmately 5-angular or -lobed, lobes deltate or triangular to broadly angular-elliptic, margins denticulate, adaxial surface with circular, sessile scales [hirsute to hirsutulous], often with glands on both sides of midrib near petiole.


staminate flowers solitary, [clustered, racemose, or in spikes], axillary; pistillate flowers solitary, axillary [racemose];

bracts absent.


1–5 cm.


sepals recurved, 2–5 mm;

petals 15–20 mm, apices acute to obtuse-apiculate.

hypanthium campanulate to turbinate;

sepals 5, linear to subulate;

petals 5, connate 1/2 length, bright white, often slightly green-veined [brownish yellow or orange], ovate to ovate-triangular, [8–]15–20[–62] mm, hirtellous or puberulent-hirtellous to glabrate, corolla campanulate.

Staminate flowers

stamens 3;

filaments inserted near hypanthium base, connate; thecae connate into central column and forming central oblong body, sigmoid-triplicate, connective broadened;

pistillodes absent.

Pistillate flowers

ovary 3-locular, ovoid to fusiform;

ovules ca. 15–40 per locule;

style 1, narrowly columnar;

stigma 1, 3-lobed;

staminodes 3.


pepos, usually green with white streaks or lines, sometimes red to scarlet at maturity, broadly cylindric to ellipsoid-cylindric, smooth, glabrous, indehiscent, flesh whitish to greenish.


6–8 mm, aril red to red-orange.

30–50[–120], asymmetrically pyriform [ovoid or broadly ellipsoid], compressed, arillate, margins thickened or not bordered, surface fibrillose.


climbing, widely spreading, sometimes prostrate.


2.5–6 cm.


= 12.


= 24.

Coccinia grandis


Phenology Flowering May–Nov.
Habitat Trash dumps, thickets, fencerows, cypress swamps
Elevation 0–30 m (0–100 ft)
from FNA
FL; TX; e Africa [Introduced in North America; introduced also in Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam), Pacific Islands, Australia]
[BONAP county map]
from USDA
s Asia; se Asia (India, Malaysia); Africa [Introduced in North America; introduced also in Pacific Islands]
[BONAP county map]

The shoot tips and immature fruits of Coccinia grandis are used in Asian and Indian cooking; long-range dispersal is often the result of introduction by humans. It sometimes has been misidentified as C. cordifolia (Linnaeus) Cogniaux.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Species ca. 30 (1 in the flora).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 6, p. 45. FNA vol. 6, p. 44.
Parent taxa Cucurbitaceae > Coccinia Cucurbitaceae
Subordinate taxa
C. grandis
Synonyms Bryonia grandis
Name authority (Linnaeus) Voigt: Hort. Suburb. Calcutt., 59. (1845) Wight & Arnott: Prodr. Fl. Ind. Orient. 1: 347. (1834)
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