Common name: Snake Gourd • Hindi: चचिंडा Chachinda, चिचौंडा Chichonda • Kannada: adla balli, adla kaayi, bettada padavala • Malayalam: പടവലങ്ങ padavalanga, kaippam-patolam • Marathi: jangli padavala • Sanskrit: अमृतफल Amritaphala, bijagarbha • Tamil: புடலங்காய் pudalankaai, alakaipputal • Telugu: పొట్లకాయ potlakaaya, adavi potla
Botanical name: Trichosanthes cucumerina Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Snake Gourd is a tropical or subtropical vine,
raised for its strikingly long fruit, used as a vegetable and for
medicine. The narrow, soft-skinned fruit can reach 150 cm long. Its
soft, bland, somewhat mucilaginous flesh is similar to that of the
luffa and the calabash. Leaf blade kidney-shaped or broadly ovate, 7-10
× 8-11 cm, membranous, deeply 5-7-lobed, lobes triangular or rhombic.
The white flower is beautiful and lacy, and open at night.
It is most popular in the cuisine of South Asia and Southeast Asia. The
shoots, tendrils, and leaves are also eaten as greens. It is a popular
vegetable in South India.
Identification credit: Navendu Pagé
According to Ayurveda, the plant pacifies vitiated pitta, constipation,
skin diseases, burning sensation, diabetes, anorexia, flatulence,
constipation, worm infestation, fever and general weakness.
|Photographed in Konkan region, Maharashtra.|