Shrubs of Morni: Scarlet Gourd

Ivy Gourd/ Scarlet Gourd/ Tum Lung/ Pak Tum Luk/ Kundru in Hindi (Coccinia grandis/indica) a fast growing tropical vine that bears green, pickle-sized fruit that turns scarlet on ripening. The tendrils are about 6″ in length and are spring-like and coiled. Leaves are 5-pointed, palm-shaped. Flowers are white and star shaped. Fruiting takes place from June to January. Fruit resembles a tiny-cucumber and is eaten raw in salads when tender and green. The fruit is full of seeds that are dispersed by birds, rats and mammals including humans. When ripe, the fruit acquires a distinctive, sweet taste and is rich in vitamins A and C. The fresh leaves are added to soups and sambar. The juice extracted from roots and leaves lowers blood-sugar and is used to treat diabetes. The plant has laxative qualities. Stem juice is used to treat cataract. The fruit heals tongue sores and heals eczema.

Scarlet Gourd, fruit, Rasoon, Morni hills (November)
Scarlet Gourd, fruit- green and scarlet, Rasoon, Morni hills (November)
Scarlet Gourd, star shaped white flower, August, Bharal, Morni hills
Scarlet Gourd, star shaped white flower, August, Bharal, Morni hills
Scarlet Gourd, leaves and tendrils, August, Bharal, Morni hills
Scarlet Gourd, leaves and tendrils, August, Bharal, Morni hills