Name of a small bulbous member of the gourd
family, that grows from a tropical vine. It is grown for its edible fruits,
are also known as ivy gourds and wild snake gourds,
not to be confused with
snake gourds (fig.).
Immature fruits are green and hard, and turn soft
and red in colour as they ripen. Hence is also nicknamed the scarlet gourd (fig). The
gourds are rich in beta-carotene and vitamins, and have some medicinal value in
traditional medicine, where they are used to treat fever, asthma, bronchitis,
jaundice and leprosy. A paste made of leaves of the vine is used to treat
It is eaten as a vegetable when still green and immature.
The young shoots of this vine are also edible.
The gourds grow to a length of only a few
centimeters. The botanical name of this vine, which bears white flowers, is
Coccinia grandis. In Thai, it is known as tamleung (ตำลึง) and used as an
ingredient in kaeng khae (แกงแค), a northern Thai curry which as main ingredient
uses wild betel leaves (fig.),
that are known in Thai as
bai chaphlu. In
Myanmar, it is known
kainn pone pain and
kainn pone thee. The common names snake
cucumber and wild snake gourd derive from the fact that this fruit is allegedly
also consumed by certain snakes.