Gymnopetalum chinense (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Gymnopetalum chinense (Lour.) Merr.

Family: Cucurbitaceae


  • Gymnopetalum cochinchinense (Lour.) Kurz,
  • G. quinquelobum Miq. ?,
  • Gymnopetalum leucostictum Miq.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: manisan, kemarogan (Java), timput pulau (Sumatra)
  • Malaysia: sepan, belimun tikus, tuasah
  • Laos: kadoom khôm, khiiz kaa
  • Thailand: khika-dong (Saraburi), phakkhaep pa (Nan), kadom (central)
  • Vietnam: cu'c qua, biêm biêm nho lá.


From India, throughout Indo-China, to western Malesia.


The unripe deseeded fruits are candied or used as condiment. In Vietnam the leaves are used as a vegetable, in Laos as a fish poison. Medicinally the leaves are used against rheumatism and tetanus, and to cure ophthalmia.


  • Monoecious creeping or climbing herb, up to 4-5 m long.
  • Leaves simple, lobed, 4-6 cm × 3-5 cm.
  • Fruit an ovoid to oblongoid berry, 5 cm × 2.3 cm, red, with 10 fine ribs and numerous seeds.

On waste land, along roads and in secondary forests, usually at low altitudes.

Selected sources

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. 2nd ed. 2 Volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2444 pp.
  • Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam (various authors), 1960-. Vol. 1-24. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
  • Heyne, K., 1927. De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch Indië [The useful plants of the Dutch East Indies]. 2nd ed. 3 Volumes. Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel in Nederlandsch Indië. 1953 pp.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen