Coccinia grandis

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Violales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Coccinia
Species: C. grandis
Scientific Name
Coccinia grandis
(L.) Voigt
Common Names

ivy gourd, scarlet-fruited gourd

Overview

Appearance
Coccinia grandis is a perennial herbaceous vine. Also known as baby watermelon, it can grow up to 9 ft. (2.7 m) in length. In one day, it can grow up to 4 in. (10.2 cm).
Foliage
The stems are mostly glabrous and produced annually from a tuberous rootstock. The tendrils are simple and axillary. The alternate leaves are simple with the blade broadly ovate, 5-lobed, 2-3.5 in. (5-9 cm) x 1.6-3.5 in. (4-9 cm). Foliar surfaces are glabrous or scaly.
Flowers
The five petaled white flowers are about 1.2-1.8 in. (3-4.5 cm) long. They bloom from August-September.
Fruit
The fruit are smooth, bright red and ovoid to ellipsoid berries about 1-2.4 in. (2.5-6 cm) long.
Ecological Threat
Coccinia grandis vines grow over and smother vegetation, and cover fences and power lines. Infestations of Coccinia grandis threatens both natural and managed areas. It is difficult to control because plants regrow from deep roots, even after treatment with herbicide. It is native to Africa and Asia.

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