Cyclanthera pedata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Cyclanthera pedata (L.) Schrader

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Vernacular names

  • Wild cucumber, korilla, achoccha (En).


Native to Andean South America, but now only known in cultivation or as an escape from cultivation. Cultivated from Mexico to Peru and Ecuador and also occasionally in the Old World tropics (e.g. Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan).


Young fruits are eaten, raw or cooked. The seeds should be removed from the older fruits; the resulting seed cavity is suitable for stuffing with meat and spices. The taste is like cucumber. Young shoots and leaves are also edible.


  • Annual, vigorous vine up to 5 m long.
  • Leaves suborbicular in outline, ca. 17.5 cm × 20 cm, palmately 3-5-foliolate.
  • Fruit a pepo, tapering, flattened, obliquely ovoid, up to 16 cm long, white-green, sometimes with soft spines, with a spongy, partly hollow seed cavity, filled with black-brown seeds.

Wild cucumber is fairly tolerant of cold and is suitable for cultivation in tropical highlands up to 2000 m altitude. Planting distance is 90 cm × 90 cm. Plants have to be staked. The closely related C. brachystachia (Ser.) Cogn. (synonym C. explodens Naudin), originating from the same area, is also cultivated for its edible fruits.

Selected sources

12, 14, 17, 43, 57, 64, 96.