Weed Identification

Australia > > Ivy Gourd

Ivy Gourd

Coccinia grandis

IMPORTANT: IF YOU SUSPECT THE PRESENCE OF THIS PLANT, PLEASE REPORT IT BY CALLING 1800 084 881 (local call cost anywhere in Australia).


Family: Cucurbitaceae.

Form: Vine

Origin: Native of tropical areas in Africa, Asia, Malesia and possibly the Northern Territory. The native range is now obscure due to its cultivation.

Flowers/Seedhead: In leaf axils. Flowers summer and autumn.

Description: Perennial vine with mostly hairless stems. Leaves 310 cm long, 410 cm wide, ovalshaped or round in outline, 5-angled or 35 lobed, hairless with age above and with bristly hairs below, heart-shaped at base, margins minutely toothed, on stalks 13 cm long. Fruit hairless.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by tuberous root system; plants male or female; leaves with 38 glands on the blade near the leaf stalk, tendrils simple; joined petals (corolla) white, stamens 3; fruit scarlet, 2.56 cm long, 1.53.5 cm wide; seeds 67 mm long.

Dispersal: Spread by seed and movement of roots, pieces and cuttings. Plants have also been spread by humans as a source of food.


Male flower & flower buds Sumba, Indonesia, March
photo C. Wilson

Notes: Tropical vine that smothers supporting vegetation. Male and female plants need to be grown together for seed production. It is a serious weed on a number of Pacific Islands. Shoot tips are used in Asian cooking. Fruit are eaten green or ripe.

References:

    Flora of Australia. A. George (ed), Vol. 8, 1982, pages 175177.

Web References: Search Australian web sites for further information on this weed.


Immature fruit

Tendrils at base of leaf stalks

Spreading along creek bank with
Guinea Grass, Townsville, Qld
photos C. Gardiner

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card V25

More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.

 

Australia > > Ivy Gourd

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