This unusual tropical or subtropical vine is usually grown for its strikingly long fruit, used as a vegetable, medicine, and also for crafting didgeridoos! Its soft, somewhat mucilaginous flesh is similar to that of the luffa and the calabash andit is most popular in the cuisine of Southern and Southeast Asia where the shoots, tendrils, and leaves are also eaten as greens. In addition, it produces the most lovely, intricately frilled and twined white flowers which are frequently used as close-up photographic subjects.
Sow seeds, covering them thinly, preferably in spring but can be at any time, in good light, at between 15 and 20 degrees C. Prick out small seedlings into 3 inch/8cm pots containing a John Innes, loam-based compost. Grow on before planting into a large container or sheltered spot outdoors, with climbing support, and be sure to protect them from freezing in winter.
Common name:Snake Gourd, Serpent gourd, Chichinga, Padwal. Chichindo, Chachindra chichinga
Classification:Half hardy climber
Seeds / gram:6 (Approx)