Trichosanthes cucumerina

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Trichosanthes cucumerina L.
  • Common Name : Jangli Padvel, Snake Gourd
  • Plant Family : Cucurbitaceae
  • Plant Form : Climbers
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Van Chetana Kendra

About Trichosanthes cucumerina Plant :

  • Habit : An annual, monoecious climber with tendrils 2-3 fid.
  • Leaves : Orbicular-reniform, or broadly ovate, dentate, hairy, deeply 3-5 lobed, base cordate.
  • Flowers :
    • Male flowers in axillary racemes, bearing 8-15 flowers at the apex on a long peduncle.
    • Calyx-tube dilated at the apex, teeth triangular.
    • Petals 5, white, lanceolate-oblong, fimbriate.
    • Stamens 3, inserted on the calyx-tube, filaments short, anthers almost included, usually connate one 1-celled, the others 2-celled, the cells conduplicate.
    • Female flowers axillary, solitary or a female flower in the same axile as the male peduncle. Calyx ad corolla as in male.
    • Ovary inferior, ovoid, 1-celled, ovules horizontal, many on 3 parietal placentas, styles slender, stigma 3.
  • Fruits : A pepo, ovoid-fusiform, green and striped with white when immature, scarlet when ripe, seeds embedded in red pulp.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : July - September
  • Significance :
    • Common in hedges.
    • The leaves, roots and seeds used medicinally in bronchitis and as cardiac tonic.