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Trichosanthes kirilowii japonica - (Miq.)Kitam.

Common Name
Family Cucurbitaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats See Trichosanthes kirilowii for possible related hazards.
Range E. Asia - Japan.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Trichosanthes kirilowii japonica


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Trichosanthes kirilowii japonica

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Trichosanthes kirilowii japonica is a PERENNIAL CLIMBER growing to 6 m (19ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from July to September. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Trichosanthes japonica. Reg.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Oil  Oil  Root
Edible Uses: Oil  Oil

Fruit. Preserved in salt or made into a gruel[183]. The young fruits are pickled[177]. The pulp of older fruits is eaten[179]. Mature fruits are about 10cm long[200]. Leaves and young shoots - cooked and used as a vegetable[177, 183]. An edible starch is obtained from the root[183]. It requires leeching[179]. The root is harvested in the autumn, cut into thick slices, soaked for 4 - 5 days in water, changing the water daily until the root disintegrates and can be mashed into a fine pulp. It is then steamed into cakes or used for making dumplings[177, 178, 179]. The starch is mixed with wheat or rice flour and made into crackers, dumplings, noodles etc[183]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[183].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antibacterial  Anticholesterolemic  Antifungal  Antiinflammatory  Antitussive  Cancer  Depurative  Emollient  
Expectorant  Febrifuge  Galactogogue  Oxytoxic  Sialagogue  Skin  Uterine tonic  
Vulnerary

This plant is closely related to T. kirilowii, which is commonly used in Chinese herbalism. This plant almost certainly has the same properties which are:- This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs[218]. Recent research has isolated a protein called 'trichosanthin' in the roots and this is undergoing trials as a possible remedy for AIDS[238]. Skin, vulnerary[174, 178]. The leaf and the stem are febrifuge[218]. The fruit is antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, antifungal, depurative, emollient, expectorant and laxative[147, 174, 176, 178, 238]. It is used in the treatment of pulmonary infections with yellow and thick sputum, chest pains, stuffy feelings in the chest, constipation and dry stool[176]. It has an antibacterial action against E. coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, B. paratyphi, Pseudomonas, Vibrio cholerae, V. Proteus etc[176]. The fruit is traditionally prepared as a winter soup to ward off colds and influenza[238]. The fruit is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238]. The rind of the fruit is used to treat a number of ailments, including cancer, jaundice, retained placenta, bronchial infections with thick phlegm and sore throat[176, 218, 238]. The seed is antitussive, emollient and expectorant[218]. The root is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge, galactogogue, laxative, oxytocic, sialagogue and uterine tonic[147, 174, 176, 178, 218, 238]. The fresh root has been noted for centuries as an abortifacient - a sponge soaked in its juice was placed in the vagina and induced an abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy[218]. The root is taken internally in the treatment of diabetes, dry coughs, and to assist in the second stage of labour[176, 238]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238]. The root and/or the seed is powdered and used in the treatment of mammary cancer[218]. One website user has noted that Trichosanthes kirilowii is an 'important Chinese medicinal plant of which the whole fruit, seeds, rind, AND tuberous-rhizome are all used regularly in medicine. While certain types of extracts may be toxic and the raw/unprocessed root may be toxic, to state unequivocally that the root is toxic is to err.'

References

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Oil  Oil

An oil from the seed is used for lighting[178].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Requires a rich well-drained soil and plenty of moisture in the growing season[1, 200]. Sometimes cultivated in Japan for its edible fruit and medicinal uses, it is not winter hardy in Britain and usually requires greenhouse cultivation. However, it may be possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual in a very warm sheltered bed outdoors[1].

References

Temperature Converter

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Fahrenheit:

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Propagation

Seed - sow March in pots in a warm greenhouse in a rich soil. Sow 2 - 3 seeds per pot and thin to the strongest plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts. Give some protection, such as a frame or cloche, until the plants are growing away well.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Trichosanthes cucumerina anguinaSnake GourdAnnual Climber5.0 10-12 FLMHNM210
Trichosanthes kirilowiiChinese CucumberPerennial Climber6.0 8-11 FLMHNM241
Trichosanthes multiloba Perennial Climber0.0 - FLMHNM21 
Trichosanthes ovigeraJapanese Snake GourdPerennial Climber0.0 9-11 FLMHNM22 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

(Miq.)Kitam.

Botanical References

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Links / References

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