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Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt

Family Name: Cucurbitaceae
Synonyms: Coccinia indica
Common Name: Ivy Gourd, Scarlet-fruited Gourd, 红瓜
Full Sun: 6-8h Little Water Bee Attracting Plants Fruit & Vegetable Ornamental Flowers Climber, Vine and Liana Woody Creeper


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana, Shrub (Trailing)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular


Native Distribution Africa to Malesia
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A perennial, dioecious vine that can grow up to a length of 20 m.
Roots Plant has tuberous roots and climbs via simple tendrils.
Foliage Leaves are green. Shape can be broadly ovate, subpentagonal to orbicular in shape and may lightly or palmately lobed.
Stems Stems are green and herbaceous when young that turn woody with age.
Flowers Flowers are white and have five petals. Male flowers produced singly or in pairs. Female flowers are produced singly and have a distinctive but small and cylindrical ovary measuring up to 1.5 cm in length.
Fruits Fruits are freshly and elliptical in shape. When young, fruits are green and have white stripes on them. They turn red when mature.
Habitat Plants can be found growing in wastelands and fences in full sun to semi-shade.
Cultivation Prefers to be grown in moist, well-drained soil and humid environment. Provide a trellis for plant to climb on.
Etymology The genus Coccinia means scarlet, which refers to the fruit colour when it ripens. The specific epithet grandis means showy which refers to the attractive colour changes when the fruit ripens from green to scarlet.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits, Edible Leaves, Edible Stems)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : Young shoots and leaves are edible and prepared by frying, blanching or boiling. Young fruits of non-bitter varieties are used in soups and curries. They can also be fermented or made into dehydrated chips which can be stored for prolonged periods.)
Medicinal ( Fruits are used in folk medicine and purported to potentially useful for the treatment of diabetes.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bee-Attracting

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting
Propagation Method Remarks Propagated from seeds or by using 10 cm long, semi-woody stem-cuttings.


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Margin Entire, Sinuate
Typical Foliar Area Microphyll ( 2.25cm2 - 20.25 cm2 )

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody, Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Root Tuber)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) White
Individual Flower Shape Campaulate / Bell-shaped
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 81
Species ID 1377
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 06 October 2020.