Snake Gourd
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Snake Gourd
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Snake Gourd • Hindi: चचिंडा Chachinda, चिचौंडा Chichonda • Kannada: ಹಡಲ Hadala ಅಡ್ಲ (ಬಳ್ಳಿ, ಕಾಯಿ) Adla (balli), Adla (kaayi), ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಪಡವಲ Bettada padavala, ಪಡವಲ Padavala, ಪಡಲ Padala • Malayalam: പടവലങ്ങ padavalanga, kaippam-patolam • Manipuri: ꯁꯦꯕꯣꯠ ꯂꯤꯟꯃꯥꯟꯕꯤ Sebot linmaanbi • Marathi: jangli padavala • Sanskrit: अमृतफल Amritaphala, bijagarbha • Tamil: புடலங்காய் pudalankaai, alakaipputal • Telugu: పొట్లకాయ potlakaaya, adavi potla
Botanical name: Trichosanthes cucumerina subsp. anguina    Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Synonyms: Trichosanthes anguina, Cucumis anguinus, Trichosanthes lobata

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.
Medicinal uses: 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 Gangtok, Sikkim.

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