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Datasheet

Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 03 January 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Coccinia grandis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • scarlet-fruited ivy gourd
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • The perennial vine C. grandis is originally native to East Africa and has been introduced to Australia, the Caribbean, southern USA and the Pacific region. It grows aggressivelyand can smother and kill...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); habit. Manana, Oahu. February 25, 2005.
TitleHabit
CaptionCoccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); habit. Manana, Oahu. February 25, 2005.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); habit. Manana, Oahu. February 25, 2005.
HabitCoccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); habit. Manana, Oahu. February 25, 2005.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); invasive habit, on excavator. Hulopoe, Lanai. April 05, 2007.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionCoccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); invasive habit, on excavator. Hulopoe, Lanai. April 05, 2007.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); invasive habit, on excavator. Hulopoe, Lanai. April 05, 2007.
Invasive habitCoccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); invasive habit, on excavator. Hulopoe, Lanai. April 05, 2007.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-ivy gourd, tam lung); female flower and leaves. West Kuiaha Haiku, Maui. June 10, 2009.
TitleFemale flower
CaptionCoccinia grandis (scarlet-ivy gourd, tam lung); female flower and leaves. West Kuiaha Haiku, Maui. June 10, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-ivy gourd, tam lung); female flower and leaves. West Kuiaha Haiku, Maui. June 10, 2009.
Female flowerCoccinia grandis (scarlet-ivy gourd, tam lung); female flower and leaves. West Kuiaha Haiku, Maui. June 10, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); ripe fruit. Sand Island, Midway Atoll. May, 2008.
TitleFruit
CaptionCoccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); ripe fruit. Sand Island, Midway Atoll. May, 2008.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); ripe fruit. Sand Island, Midway Atoll. May, 2008.
FruitCoccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); ripe fruit. Sand Island, Midway Atoll. May, 2008.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); seedling.  Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June 01, 2008.
TitleSeedling
CaptionCoccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); seedling. Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June 01, 2008.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); seedling.  Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June 01, 2008.
SeedlingCoccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd, tam lung); seedling. Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June 01, 2008.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt

Preferred Common Name

  • scarlet-fruited ivy gourd

Other Scientific Names

  • Bryonia acerifolia D.Dietr.
  • Bryonia alceifolia Willd.
  • Bryonia barbata Buch.-Ham. ex Cogn.
  • Bryonia grandis L.
  • Bryonia sinuosa Wall.
  • Cephalandra grandis Kurz
  • Cephalandra indica (Wight & Arn.) Naudin
  • Cephalandra moghadd (Asch.) Broun & Massey
  • Cephalandra schimperi Naudin
  • Coccinia cordifolia Cogn.
  • Coccinia grandis var. wightiana (M.Roem.) Greb.
  • Coccinia helenae Buscal. & Muschl.
  • Coccinia indica Wight & Arn.
  • Coccinia loureiriana M.Roem.
  • Coccinia moghadd (J.F.Gmel.) Asch.
  • Coccinia moimoi M.Roem.
  • Coccinia palmatisecta Kotschy
  • Coccinia schimperi Naudin
  • Coccinia wightiana M.Roem.
  • Cucumis pavel Kostel.
  • Cucurbita dioica Roxb. ex Wight & Arn.
  • Momordica bicolor Blume

International Common Names

  • English: ivy gourd; kovai fruit; little gourd; scarlet gourd; tindora
  • Spanish: pepino cimarrón
  • Chinese: hong gua

Local Common Names

  • Bangladesh: telakucha
  • Germany: Scharlachranke; Tindola
  • India: ban-kundri (Oriya); bimbika (Sanskrit); donda kaya (Telugu); kova (Malayalam); koval (Malayalam); kundree; kundru (Hindi); kunduru (Hindi); tindori; tondikay (Kannada); tondli (Marathi)
  • Malaysia/Peninsular Malaysia: pepasan
  • Marshall Islands: kiuri awai
  • Micronesia, Federated states of: aipikohrd (Pohnpei)
  • Pakistan: kanduri (Urdu); kundur (Urdu)
  • Sweden: scharlakansgurka
  • Tonga: kiukamapa ae initia

EPPO code

  • COCGR (Coccinia grandis)

Summary of Invasiveness

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The perennial vine C. grandis is originally native to East Africa and has been introduced to Australia, the Caribbean, southern USA and the Pacific region. It grows aggressivelyand can smother and kill native vegetation, including mature trees. It is particularly invasive in Saipan and Guam (Englberger, 2009).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Violales
  •                         Family: Cucurbitaceae
  •                             Genus: Coccinia
  •                                 Species: Coccinia grandis

Description

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Adapted from Englberger (2009) and Muniappan et al. (2009):

C. grandis is a dioecious, perennial, herbaceous vine that can grow between 9 and 28 m long. It has glabrous stems, an extensive tuberous root system and axillary tendrils.

The alternate, simple leaves have a broadly ovate, 5-lobed, 5-9 by 4-9 cm. The flowers are white, star-shaped with 5 petals. The fruit is a smooth, bright red, ovoid to ellipsoid berry, 5-7.1 cm long.

Plant Type

Top of page Herbaceous
Perennial
Vine / climber

Distribution

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C. grandis is originally native to north-central East Africa, but also grows wild in the Indo-Malayan region. It has been introduced to Australia, the Pacific region, the Caribbean and southern United States (Muniappan et al., 2009).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

CambodiaPresentNativePIER, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013
ChinaPresentNativePIER, 2013Thickets on mountain slopes and in forests; 100-1100 m
-GuangdongPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-GuangxiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-Hong KongPresentNativePIER, 2013
-YunnanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Andhra PradeshPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-BiharPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-GujaratPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-KeralaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-OdishaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-RajasthanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-Tamil NaduPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-TripuraPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-Uttar PradeshPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-West BengalPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
IndonesiaPresentNativePIER, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013
LaosPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
MalaysiaPresentNativePIER, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013
MyanmarPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
PakistanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
PhilippinesPresentNativePIER, 2013
SingaporePresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2013
Sri LankaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
ThailandPresentNativePIER, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013
VietnamPresentNativePIER, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013
YemenPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013

Africa

CameroonPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
Central African RepublicPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
ChadPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
EritreaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
EthiopiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
KenyaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
SomaliaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
SudanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
TanzaniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
UgandaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013

North America

USAPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2013Invasive and cultivated on Sand Island, Midway Atoll
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Englberger, 2009; PIER, 2013Big Island, Lana, Maui and Oahu Islands

Central America and Caribbean

Saint LuciaPresentIntroduced Invasive Krauss et al., 2008; Graveson, 2012Covering indigenous vegetation in Babonneau; risk in disturbed and burnt habitats

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedEnglberger, 2009
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentNativePIER, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2013Cultivated
FijiPresentIntroduced Invasive Englberger, 2009; PIER, 2013; PIER, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013Invasive on Ovalu and Viti Levu Islands
GuamPresentIntroduced Invasive Englberger, 2009; PIER, 2013
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroducedEnglberger, 2009; PIER, 2013Cultivated on Majuro Atoll
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroduced Invasive Englberger, 2009; PIER, 2013Cultivated on Pohnpei
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2013Saipan
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
SamoaPresentIntroducedEnglberger, 2009; PIER, 2013Cultivated on Upolu Island
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroducedEnglberger, 2009; PIER, 2013
TongaPresentIntroduced Invasive Englberger, 2009; PIER, 2013Cultivated on Eua and Tongatapu Islands
VanuatuPresentIntroducedEnglberger, 2009; PIER, 2013
Wake IslandPresentPIER, 2013

History of Introduction and Spread

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C. grandis has been introduced to Asia, Australia, the Pacific region, the Caribbean and southern United States, primarily as a food crop (Muniappan et al., 2009).

Habitat

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C. grandis grows well in warm, humid, tropical regions. In Fiji it occurs in cane fields, degraded land and road sides. In Hawaii it is found at elevations of 0–245 m, whereas in China it can grow at elevations of up to 1100 m (Muniappan et al., 2009; PIER, 2013).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Acythopeus burkhartorum Herbivore Adults to species Muniappan et al., 2009 Hawaii
Acythopeus cocciniae Herbivore Adults/Larvae to species Muniappan et al., 2009 Hawaii
Melittia oedipus Herbivore Larvae to species Muniappan et al., 2009 Hawaii

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Accidental Introduction

C. grandis can be spread by its seeds, which can be carried by birds, rodents and possibly pigs. It can also be spread by its tuberous roots and soil movement (Englberger, 2009). Stems of C. grandis readily strike roots at nodes when they come into contact with soil (Muniappan et al., 2009).

Intentional Introduction

The plant is used in medicine and as food and so is often deliberately introduced by humans (Englberger, 2009). This has accounted for much of the long distance dispersal of C. grandis.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Food Yes Muniappan et al., 2009
HitchhikerSeeds can be spread by birds, rodents and possibly pigs. Yes Englberger, 2009

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Cultural/amenity Negative
Economic/livelihood Negative
Human health Positive
Native flora Negative

Economic Impact

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Adapted from Muniappan et al. (2009):

As well as covering agricultural areas, C. grandis hosts a number of insect species that are known to attack several commercially important Cucurbitaceae species. These insects include: Diaphania indica (Saunders) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), Aulacophora spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tephritidae), Aphis gossypii Glover (Hemiptera: Aphididae), Liriomyza spp. (Diptera: Agromyzidae), Leptoglossus australis (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Coreidae) and Bemisia spp. (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae).

Environmental Impact

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C. grandis grows aggressively can smother and kill native vegetation, including mature trees. In Hawaii, where it is naturalized, it quickly spreads through disturbed sites, smothering both trees and understory vegetation (Muniappan et al., 2009).

Social Impact

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C. grandis can cover ‘fences, power poles, and other human-made structures in residential neighbourhoods and agricultural areas’ (Muniappan et al., 2009).

C. grandis is used in traditional Bengali medicine to treat diabetes (Ocvirk et al., 2013).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Fast growing

Uses

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C. grandis is used in cooking and medicine. The immature fruit and shoot tips are used in Asian cooking (Muniappan et al., 2009), and the fruit is eaten in India and Ethiopia (Addis, 2013; Rani et al., 2013). C. grandis is commonly used as a wild vegetable in rural areas of Kannauj districts in Uttar Pradesh, India (Kumar, 2013). The plant is high in protein (Addis, 2013).

C. grandis is reported to have a wide range of medicinal properties. Pekamwar et al. (2013) reported C. grandis to have ‘analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiulcer, antidiabetic, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, antimalarial, antidyslipidemic, anticancer, antitussive [and] mutagenic’ properties. Very low concentrations of crude extract of C. grandis were shown to have an inhibitory effect on the cervical cancer cell line HeLa (Varalakshmi, 2012).

Additionally, C. grandis fruit mucilage was shown to reduce water turbidity by 77.67% in a study by Gaurand and Punita (2012).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Landscape improvement

Human food and beverage

  • Food
  • Fruits
  • Vegetable

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Prevention and Control

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Mechanical Control

Pulling plants and harvesting the underground tubers can be effective if done repeatedly for an extended period (Englberger, 2009). Cutting and slashing is less likely to be effective as C. grandis can regrow from any leftover stems and stubble; proper disposal of plant parts following mechanical removal is therefore essential (Muniappan et al., 2009). Additionally, C. grandis’ habit of growing over other plants makes it difficult to cut it without also damaging the plants it has overgrown.

Chemical Control

Triclopyr can be used as a foliar spray (Englberger, 2009), and in Hawaii basal bark applications of 2,4-D or triclopyr have been recommended (Muniappan et al., 2009). However, the overgrowing habit of the vines means that chemical sprays are also likely to affect non-target plants, and finding basal stems in dense stands of C. grandis is difficult (Muniappan et al., 2009).

Biological Control

Three natural enemies of C. grandis have been identified as suitable biological control agents: the stem-boring moth Melittia oedipus Oberthur (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae); the leaf-mining weevil Acythopeus cocciniae O’Brien and Pakaluk (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and the weevil Acythopeus burkhartorum O’Brien and Pakaluk (Muniappan et al., 2009).

M. oeidipus and A. cocciniae have significantly impacted the population of C. grandis in Hawaii, whereas A. burkhartorum has had very little or no effect. The effectiveness of A. cocciniae in Guam and Saipan was probably limited by parasitism. For more information, see Muniappan et al. (2009).

In Guam, C. grandis was controlled with A. burkhartorum and M. oedipus (Reddy et al., 2013).

References

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Addis GG; Asfaw Z; Singh V; Woldu Z; Baidu-Forson JJ; Bhattacharya S, 2013. Dietary values of wild and semi-wild edible plants in southern Ethiopia. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 13(2):7485-7503. http://www.ajfand.net/Volume13/No2/Addis11125.pdf

Akhilesh Kumar, 2013. Ethnobotanical study of wild vegetables used by rural communities of Kannauj district, Uttar Pradesh, India. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, 25(10):760-766. http://ejfa.info/index.php/ejfa/article/view/16403/8845

Englberger K, 2009. Invasive weeds of Pohnpei: A guide for identification and public awareness. Conservation Society of Pohnpei, 29 pp.

Graveson RS, 2012. Survey of invasive alien plant species on Gros Piton, Saint Lucia. Project No. GFL / 2328- 2713-4A86, GF-1030-09-03. Project No. GFL / 2328- 2713-4A86, GF-1030-09-03, GFL / 2328- 2713-4A86, GF-1030-09-03. Catsries, Saint Lucia: Department of Forestry.

Krauss U; Seier M; Stewart J, 2008. Mitigating the Threats of Invasive Alien Species in the Insular Caribbean. Report on Project Development Grant (PPG) Stakeholder Meeting, GFL-2328-2740-4995. Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago: GEF, UNEP, CABI Caribbean and Latin America, 43 pp.

Muniappan R; Reddy GVP; Raman A, 2009. Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt (Cucurbitaceae). In: Biological Control of Tropical Weeds using Arthropods [ed. by Muniappan R, Reddy GVP Raman A]. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 175-18.

Ocvirk S; Kistler M; Khan S; Talukder SH; Hauner H, 2013. Traditional medicinal plants used for the treatment of diabetes in rural and urban areas of Dhaka, Bangladesh - an ethnobotanical survey. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 9(43):(24 June 2013). http://www.ethnobiomed.com/content/pdf/1746-4269-9-43.pdf

Parmar Gaurang; Parikh Punita, 2012. An evalution of turbidity removal from industrial waste by natural coagulents obtained from some plants. Journal of Environmental Research and Development, 7(2A):1043-1046. http://www.jerad.org/archiveabstract.php?vol=7&issue=2A

Pekamwar SS; Kalyankar TM; Kokate SS, 2013. Pharmacological activities of Coccinia grandis: review. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, 3(5):114-119. http://japsonline.com/admin/php/uploads/908_pdf.pdf

PIER, 2013. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Rani TS; Abirami CVK; Alagusundaram K, 2013. Studies on respiration rates in Coccinia grandis (ivy gourd) at different temperatures. Journal of Food Processing and Technology, 4(4):217. http://www.omicsonline.org/2157-7110/2157-7110-4-217.php?aid=11885

Reddy GVP; Remolona JE; Legdesog CM; McNassar GJ, 2013. Effective biological control programs for invasive plants on Guam. In: Proceedings of the XIII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA, 11-16 September, 2011 [ed. by Wu Y, Johnson T, Sing S, Raghu S, Wheeler G, Pratt P, Warner K, Center T, Goolsby J, Reardon R]. Hilo, USA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, 224-229.

USDA-ARS, 2013. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

Varalakshmi KN; Rao S, 2012. Comparative cytotoxic efficacies of five Cucurbitaceous plant extracts on HeLa cell line. Journal of Pharmacy Research, 5(12):5310-5313. http://jpronline.info

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