Local Vegetables of Thailand title
Botanical Name Index Family Name Index Local Vegetables of Thailand Home

Benincasa hispida (Thunberg ex Murray) Cogniaux (Cucurbitaceae)
Vernacular name: fak, fang
Common name: wax gourd (English), togan (Japanese)

  Robust, annual, usually monoecious, hispid, climbing herb up to several meters long. Stem thick, terete, longitudinally furrowed, whitish-green with scattered rough hairs; tendrils inserted beside the leaves, 2-3-fid, 10-35 cm long, twisted at the top, the two lateral arms much shorter than the central one. Leaves alternate, simple, distichous; petiole10 -20 cm long; leaf-blade broadly ovate in outline, 10-25 by10-20 cm, deeply cordate at base, apex acuminate, margin more or less deeply and irregularly 5-11-angular or - lobed and irregularly undulate - crenate or dentate -serrate, densely hispid on both surfaces, shiny-green. Flowers solitary in leaf axils, large, 8 -12 cm in diameter, yellow, unisexual, 5 -merous; pedicel densely hispid, 5 -12 cm long in male flowers, 3 - 4 cm in females ones. Calyx campanulate, densely silky. Petals almost free. Male flowers with 5 stamens, 4 of these in connate pairs. Female flowers with densely villose ovoid or cylindrical ovary and a short style with 3 curved stigmas. Fruit a large, stalked berry (pepo), high variations in shape and size, ovoid-oblong, ellipsoid or globose, 25 - 80 by 10 - 25 cm, dark green to speckled light green or glaucous, thinly hispid or subglabrous, covered with a chalk-white, easily removable layer of wax; flesh 2 - 4 cm thick, white, succulent, slightly fragrant, spongy in the middle. Seeds numerous, flat, ovate-elliptic, 10 -15 by 5 - 7 by 1-2 mm, white, often with marginal ridged.
  Wax gourd is best suited to the moderately dry areas of the lowland tropics from sea-level up to 1000 m altitude. Many local landraces are found among various ethnic people.
  Young shoots, flowers, and fruits are consumed as vegetable in various parts of Thailand. Per 100 g edible portion (mature fruits): water 96 g, protein 0.2 g, fat 0.1 g, carbohydrates 3.5 g, vitamin B1 0.2 mg, vitamin B2 0.03 mg, niacin 0.5 mg, vitamin C 14 mg, Ca 14 mg, Fe 0.4 mg, P 7 mg, Mg 16 mg. The fruits are vermifuge, diuretic, laxative, tonic
  Wax gourd is propagated by seed. Direct -seeding in well-prepared trenches or planting holes filled with manure or compost is usually practiced. When supported, plants should be spaced 60-80 cm in the row, with the rows spaced 1-1.5 m apart. For trailing over the ground, spacing must be wider (2-3 m between plants). The optimum temperature for growth is 23-28 °C. The ratio of female to male flowers is increased by relatively cool weather and short days.

Fruits
Fruits

Fruits
Fruits
Flowers/Leaves
Flowers/Leaves
Fruits
Fruits

Click on image to enlarge.