(Ivy Gourd, Coccinea grandis, Cucurbitaceae)
Office of Agriculture and Forestry --- 320-2400/320-7457
The Nature Conservancy --- 320-4267
What is Ivy Gourd:
Ivy Gourd is a vine that is capable of smothering forests and desirable plants. Growing aggressively and vigorously, this vine forms a dense canopy smothering vegetation, grounds, fences, utility lines and forests in low elevation areas. This thick covering chokes out the sunlight to anything below.
Ivy Gourd is widespread on Oahu, and parts of Kona on the Big Island. In May, 1997, a small infestation was found in Anahola Valley, on Kauai. Although its to late to stop the vine from taking over on Oahu and in Kona, there is hope to control the spread of this pesky vine on Kauai.
Ivy Gourd can be distinguished by its five-point, palm-shaped leaves.
White, star-shaped flowers distinguish this weed from other vines. These white flowers give way to small, green, pickle-sized fruits which eventually turn scarlet in color.
Each of these fruit contains numerous seeds which contribute to the rapid spread of this weed to new locations. Ivy Gourd is primarily spread by rats and birds that eat the fruit and seed. Humans, who plant it for food or ornamental purposes also contribute to the movement of this weed to new locations and islands.
Working together -- residents, private sector and government -- we can take our best shot at controlling the spread of this weed.
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