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A Native Unknown Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Tinda, Indian squash, Round melon, Indian round gourd, Apple gourd • Hindi: टिंडा Tinda • Marathi: ढेमसे dhemase, bimbi, kondvalli, tendli • Urdu: Tinda ٹنڈه
Botanical name: Benincasa fistulosa    Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Synonyms: Praecitrullus fistulosus, Citrullus fistulosus

Tinda is an annual, climbing or trailing plant, cultivated for its round fruits which are widely cooked as vegetable. Stem is robust, hairy to bristly. Tendrils are slender, 2-3-divided. Leaf-stalks are hairy, leaves sparingly pinnately divided, blade sparsely bristly all over, densely bristly on veins and veinlets of under surface. Margin is minutely finely toothed, apparently entire; young leaves hairy to densely bristly. Flowers are borne singly, yellow, small. Male flower-stalks are about 1 mm long, calyx bell-shaped, hairy, sepals obconic, about 8 mm long. Stamens 3, one free, others fused. Female flowers have calyx broadly bell-shaped, sepals about 5 mm long, lanceshaped. Ovary is hairy or softly hairy. Fruit is almost spherical, about 5-6 cm in diameter. Seeds ovate-oblong, about 8 mm long, yellowish-white, smooth. Tinda is native to India and Thailand. Flowering: March-September.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh Photographed in Kaithal, Haryana.

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