Trichosanthes ovigera (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Trichosanthes ovigera Blume

Protologue: Bijdr. fl. Ned. Ind.: 934 (1826).


  • Trichosanthes horsfieldii Miq. (1856),
  • Trichosanthes cucumeroides (Ser.) Maxim. ex Fr. & Sav. (1875),
  • Trichosanthes himalensis C.B. Clarke (1879).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: areuy tiwuk (Sundanese)
  • Vietnam: hoa bát.


From the Himalayas to China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Sumatra, Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands and north-eastern Australia.


In China, Japan and Taiwan the root is regarded as a good remedy for intestinal parasites, jaundice and bloody stools. It is also considered to be a diuretic and galactagogue. In eastern China, it is a substitute for T. kirilowii. In Taiwan, the root and seeds are applied to soothe the throat and lungs and to prevent inflammation, and are also considered to be a bechic, expectorant and thirst quenching. Boiled fruits are eaten as a side dish with rice. In China and Japan the starch of the tubers is sometimes extracted.


  • A dioecious, perennial vine, stem angular, sparsely puberulous to glabrescent.
  • Leaves broadly ovate to suborbicular in outline, unlobed to deeply 3-5-lobed, 7-15 cm × 6-15 cm, base deeply cordate, lobes ovate to obovate, obtuse to acute, mucronate, denticulate, scabrid above, densely pubescent to velvety below.
  • Corolla up to 5 cm in diameter; male flowers in 6-20 cm long racemes, bracts narrowly obovate, 5-10 mm long, dentate; female flowers solitary.

Fruit ovoid to ellipsoidal, 8-10 cm × 2.5-3 cm, glabrous.

  • Seeds broadly ovate, cylindrical.

T. ovigera is found in light forests, forest margins, thickets and roadsides, up to 1600 m altitude.

Selected sources

97, 486, 721, 870, 1024, 1126, 1263, 1443. medicinals


M.S.M. Sosef, E. Boer & N. Bunyapraphatsara