Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Ivy Gourd
Coccinia grandis

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Coccinia (kok-SIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: grandis (GRAN-dees) (Info)

Synonym:Coccinia cordifolia
Synonym:Coccinia indica

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 9 photos.
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3 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral wtliftr On Jun 26, 2011, wtliftr from Wilson's Mills, NC wrote:

Does ANYONE within the United States have seeds, or preferably some cuttings that they would be willing to sell? I am getting a plant business started, and am concentrating on edible/fruit/vegetable plants. If it's invasive in your backyard in Florida, even better. I'll buy your weed!
I really would like to try this fruit, and am in Florida right now, but can't even find it growing wild in a park.
DID find plenty of Dioscorea bulbifera, however. And kudzu.
I'm not willing to risk buying online to a store outside of the United States, lest US Customs confiscates my plant.
ANY help is appreciated!

NOTE: I found a large vine growing on a fence in Miami (Homestead, actually) Brought back over a dozen fruits. They are past being edible, but full of good seeds, and I brought back about a dozen cuttings. Hope they will root uip here- I know I'll have to keep them inside over the winter

Positive Tefoe On May 29, 2011, Tefoe from Lakeland, FL wrote:

There should not be a bad thing said about this plant, only about the..... that refuse to see it as it is.
A very beautiful plant: Its foliage, a nice dark green, gorgeous when covering a trellis.
A very edible plant: If people just ate them they wouldn't be a problem. The leaves taste like..... Leaves, cooked or not, just like most green things.
The Fruit!! That's the prize! Small ones taste just like the Best cucumber you've ever had!(This though! Varies greatly from plant to plant:( With a super CRUNCH!
The ripe ones are very sweet,I make a preserve with them, Or a BIG RED jam, get it?
Its very easy to propagate, its why it can be such a pain, it will root anywhere it touches the ground!
It'll send down a very long tap root, of witch it will grow back from if cut or frozen to the ground.
Its a bit funny with seed though. Some varieties will produce only female flowers, some only male, some both!! Some varieties will set fruit with NO pollination! But with no viable seed. Some need to be cross pollinated to set fruit, and seed, and others are yet self fertile, setting fruit and seed on their own!!!
I have grown several of these varieties and the BEST, for fruit quality and taste are the ones that set sterile fruits...... Not to mention they grow very well in poor soil, as long as they get plenty of water! Or not, they can go through a drought no problem, that tap root really helps!! And they have no major pest!!
So over all a nice plant, can replace cucumbers in the garden, without the bug, water, disease problems of actual cucumber!

Positive texasflora_com On Nov 29, 2009, texasflora_com from De Leon, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I'm interested in trying this plant since it's supposedly a perennial. I doubt it would become invasive in my area due to freezing weather. Does anyone know if it comes back after a winter dieback?

Neutral MotherNature4 On Sep 28, 2009, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

The Ivy Gourd was brought to this country from the old world as a medicinal and food plant. It has escaped cultivation in Brevard and Dade Counties, Florida.

The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if fruit is required). The plant is not self-fertile, so requires insects to be fertilized. The male flowers provide the pollen, but do NOT have parts to provide fruit. This requires the female flower.

Positive bekisar On Oct 1, 2007, bekisar from Panama City, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

The flowers are white with 5 petals.This plant is very easy to grow from any method OTHER than seed. Difficult to grow from seed.Cuttings grow roots very easily.This plant can be invasive.The young leaves are good to eat as a pot herb cooked similar to turnip greens.This plant is EXTREMELY popular in INDIA. Regardless what you may hear or read about the FRUITS of this plant,BOTH the red ripe fruits and the green unripe fruits are good to eat raw or cooked. The green fruits make a great ingredient in stir fry,and remain crunchy.Other common names for it are...ivy gourd-dondakai-tindla-parval-thainli-kovakkai.

Negative punaheledp On Jul 10, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

also known as "scarlet-fruited gourd" it is a pest plant in Hawaii, an aggressive weedy vine from Africa, Asia, Australia. It has tendrils, ivy-like leaves, white bell shaped flowers and red fruit 1-1/2" long. There's some that grows behind my property and I have to remove it periodically from my fence to hinder its spread. I'll find it sprouting here and there and have to get main root to keep it from growing back.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Hartselle, Alabama
Daytona Beach, Florida
Homestead, Florida
Lakeland, Florida (2 reports)
Panama City, Florida
Kailua, Hawaii
Amarillo, Texas
Humble, Texas

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