Local Vegetables of Thailand title
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Momordica cochinchinensis Loureiro (Cucurbitaceae)
Vernacular name: fak khao
Common name: giant spine gourd (English), nanban kikarasuuri (Japanese)

  Dioecious, woody climber, often climbing high on the trees, stem robust, angular. Root tuberous. Tendrils unbranched. Leaves simple, palmately lobed; petiole 5-10 cm long, with 2-5 glands near the middle; blade suborbicular in outline, c.15 cm in diameter, deeply 3-5 - lobed, margin entire or subdentate, base cordate with few glands, petiole 5-30 cm long. Flower solitary in leaf axil, 7-10 cm diameter, yellow with dark throat inside. Male inflorescence long pedunculate, up to 30 cm long, bearing an apical, suborbicular, sessile bract, 3-4 by 4-5 cm, pedicel up to 10 mm long. Female flowers with much smaller bracts situated near the middle of the peduncle; pedicel 4-10 mm long. Fruit 10 -20 by 6 -10 cm, yellow, turning red at maturity, densely covered with small, rigid spines. Seeds brown, compressed, 2.5 by 2 cm, c. 5 mm thick.
  Common climber over big tree in the forest margin or abandoned area. It is occasionally grown in home orchard or backyard garden.
  Young fruits, shoots and flowers are ingredient of curry. After boiling, they are eaten with chili sauces and rice. Young shoots are fried with oyster sauce with pork or shrimp.
  M. cochinchinensis can be propagated from seeds or from stem cutting. A sturdy stake is needed to support this stout climber.

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