Trichosanthes plants are half hardy annual vines that range from 3 to 5 metres (10 to 16 feet) in height.
Trichosanthes species have broad leaves. They bloom from late in the summer through to autumn, when they carry fringed white flowers.
Following blooming they produce fruits that are up to 60 cm (2 feet) in length.
Some of the common names for Trichosanthes include Serpent Gourd, Snake Gourd, and Serpent Cucumber.
Trichosanthes by flickr_10g
Common Names: Snake Gourd, Pointed Gourd, Japanese Gourd, Potol, Chinese Cucumber, Serpent Cucumber, Parwel, Kirilowii.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual.
Height: 100 to 200 inches (250 to 500 cm).
Growing Region: Zones 9 and 10.
Flowers: End of summer and autumn.
Flower Details: White. Five petals. Hairy.
Foliage: Deeply lobed.
When growing Trichosanthes plants, such as Serpent gourd and Snake Gourd, from seeds it is best to start the process off indoors.
Sow the seeds in peat pots about two months before they are due to be transplanted into the garden (aim to transplant outdoors in the middle of spring).
Once sown it should take Serpent gourd from two to four weeks to germinate at a temperature of 18 to 24 degrees centigrade (64 to 75°F).
Once ready, transplant Serpent gourd outdoors singly, or at least 1.5 m apart (5 feet). Grow Trichosanthes in a sunny area, that has afternoon shade. Ideally this location shouldhave a moist soil that is humus rich.
As Trichosanthes plants are vines, it is important that they are provided a trellis for support. During the growing season they should be watered regularly. It is best to grow further Serpent gourds from seeds.
The Trichosanthes genus consists of about 100 species, including some tropical and subtropical vines.
Trichosanthes is a lovely choice for a tropical or subtropical garden, with unique fruits and flowers that can attract wildlife.
Trichosanthes cucumerina, known as the Snake Gourd, is the most popular species for cultivation.
Some Trichosanthes species have fragrant flowers, particularly in the evening.
Trichosanthes thrives in sunny locations with well-drained, fertile soil and high humidity.
At present, Trichosanthes species are not considered invasive in the USA. Always consult local regulations for the most current information.
Trichosanthes can be manually removed by pulling up the vines and ensuring the root system is fully extracted.
The Trichosanthes plant genus is made up of annual and perennial vines native to Asia and Australia. They are grown for their ornamental flowers, unusual fruits, and some species for their edible fruits and medicinal properties.
Plant Trichosanthes seeds in spring, after the last frost, in a sunny location with well-drained soil. They need a trellis or other support to climb on. Regular watering is required, and they also benefit from regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer.