Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt

Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt




Bryonia grandis L., Coccinia indica Wight & Arnott, Coccinia cordifolia (auct. non L.) Cogn.

Vernacular Names


Pepasan, papasan.


Ivy gourd, small gourd, scarlet gourd.


Papasan, kemaron­gan (Java), bolu teke (Java).


Slök baahs.


Tam ling, tam nin.


Phaktamlung (General), phakkhaep (Northern).


Hoa b[as]t, rau b[as]t.

Geographical Distributions

Coccinia grandis occurs wild from Africa to the Indo-Malaysian region. It is cultivat­ed mainly in India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.


Coccinia grandis is a perennial, dioecious, climbing or trailing herb that can reach up to 20 m long with tuberous roots. The stem is green and longitudinally ribbed when young. It becomes white-spotted when older and eventually woody and slightly cylindrical. The tendrils are simple, usually one per node and in stipular position.

The leaves are simple, arranged alternate and with petiole 1-5 cm long. The leaf blade is broadly ovate to subpentagonal or orbicular in outline, measuring 3-12 cm x 3-15 cm, shallowly to deeply palmately 3-5-lobed, cordate at base, with en­tire or sinuate margin and often with distinct reddish glandular teeth, hairless and dotted.

The male flowers are axillary, solitary or paired and rarely 3-4 in a short raceme. The pedicel is 0.7-7 cm long. The receptacle is 3-7 mm long and tubular. There are 5 sepals, which are linear and measure up to 6 mm long. The petal is bell-shaped, yellow-orange, green veined and 5-lobed, where the lobes measure up to 2 cm x 1.5 cm. The staminal col­umn is 6 mm long. The female flowers are axillary and solitary. The pedicel is up to 2.5 cm long. The ovary is cylindrical, measures up to 1.5 cm long, with style 3 mm long, with 3-lobed stigma and each lobe is 2-lobed.

The fruit is berry-like, ellipsoid or rarely spherical, measuring 3-7 cm x 1-3.5 cm, fleshy, green with white stripes when young and turns red at maturi­ty. The fruit stalk is up to 4 cm long.

The seed is asymmetrical­ly pear-shaped in outline, compressed, measuring 6 mm x 3 mm x 1.5 mm, rather thick and with grooved margin and fibrillose testa.

Ecology / Cultivation

Coccinia grandis occurs wild in grasslands, brushwoods, on roadsides, in hedges and light forests from the plains up to 1500 m altitude. Lit­tle is known about optimum ecological conditions, and their influence on growth and development. Coccinia grandis seems to require well-distributed rain­fall and fairly high humidity. Soils should be well-drained as it is intolerant to waterlogging.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.8: Vegetables.