Creeping Cucumber
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Creeping Cucumber
P Native Unknown Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Creeping Cucumber, Diversely-leaved melothria • Adi: Yongkoyomi • Gujarati: ગોમેટી gometi • Hindi: अमन्तमूल amantamul, तरली tarali • Kannada: Karagala • Konkani: गोयंटिणी goimtini • Malayalam: ഞെരിഞ്ഞാമ്പുളി nerinnampuli • Manipuri: ꯂꯝ ꯁꯦꯕꯣꯠ Lam sebot • Marathi: गोमेटी gometi • Nepalese: बन कांकरो ban kankro • Oriya: ମଟକା mataka • Sanskrit: अम्लवेतस amlavetasa • Tamil: புளிவஞ்சி pulivanci • Telugu: అడవి దొండ adavi donda, తియ్యదొండ tiyyadonda Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Solena amplexicaulis    Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Synonyms: Bryonia amplexicaulis, Bryonia solena, Cucurbita sagittata

Creeping cucumber is a climbing perennial herb with several tuberous roots spindle-shaped, 1.5-2 cm in diameter. Stem and branches hairless. Leaf-stalk slender, 4-10 mm, finely velvet-hairy at first, becoming hairless; leaf blade ovate, oblong, undivided leathery; 8-12 × 1-5 cm, below densely bristly or almost hairless, above densely bristly or scabrous, base heart-shaped, margin entire or toothed, tip blunt or tapering. Tendrils slender. Male flowers umbellate or subumbellate; flower-cluster-stalk very short, apically 10-20-flowered; flower-stalks 2-8 mm; calyx tube 3-5 mm, about 3 mm in diam.; segments subulate, 0.2-0.4 mm. Flowers are yellow or yellow-white; petals triangular, 1-1.5 mm, tip blunt or pointed; filaments thread-like, about 3 mm. Female flowers are usually solitary; flower-stalk 2-10 mm, finely velvet-hairy; calyx and flower as in male flowers; ovary ovoid, 2.5-3.5 × 2-3 mm; stigmas 3. Fruit red-brown, broadly ovoid, oblong, or nearly spherical, 2-6 × 2-5 cm. Seeds gray-white or gray-brown, nearly round or obovate, 5-7 × 5-6.5 mm, smooth or slightly tuberculate. Flowering: May-August.
Medicinal uses: Creeping Cucumber has traditionally been used in the management of diseases pertaining to gastrointestinal, respiratory and vascular system.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed at Prabalgad, Maharashtra.

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