Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt

Etymology Genus Red; probably referring to the colour of the ripe fruit
Species Large or spectacular; reference to plant unknown
Family Cucurbitaceae
Synonyms Bryonia grandis L.
Common Names Ivy Gourd
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Climber
Native Distribution Throughtout the Old World (northern tropical Africa to India to nothern tropical Australia)


Coccinia grandis is a very common sun-loving climber. It is very easy to recognise by remembering the three main leaf forms, which can appear as one, three, or five-lobed. One or all of the forms may be present in a single individual plant. The margins are lined sparsely, but evenly with small teeth.

Interesting Facts:

The Ivy Gourd is monoecious, i.e., each flower on an individual can be either a male or female. Their outward appearance is very similar, but the male flower's stamens are finger-like and hairy, while the female's stigma are bi-lobed. Another way is to just look out to the swollen ovary just below the petal which is indicative of a female flower.

The fruits are green with longitudinal white stripes. They ripen to become red except for the base (De Wilde & Duyfjes, 2010). They are eaten and dispersely mainly by birds.

A wall being engulfed by Coccinia grandis and another common vine, Mikania micrantha.

One lobed leaves.

Three lobed leaves.

Five-lobed leaves.

Coiling tendrils are opposite to the leaf.

Male flower. Note the hairy finger-like stamens.

Female flower. Note the swollen ovary at the base of petal.

Fruit with white stripes (left), turning red when ripe (right).

Cross section of fruit.


De Wilde Wjjo & Bee Duyfjes. (2010) Cucurbitaceae. Flora Malesiana, 19: 1-342.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2012-01-18 / Modified: 2017-12-25