1. Trichosanthes anguina Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1008. 1753.
蛇瓜 she gua
Trichosanthes cucumerina Linnaeus var. anguina (Linnaeus) Haines.
Plants annual. Stems slender, branched, angular, puberulent. Petiole 3-7 cm; leaf blade suborbicular or orbicular-reniform, 8-16 × 6-18 cm, membranous, ± deeply 5(rarely 3-7)-lobed; lobes usually obovate, abaxially densely puberulent, adaxially subglabrous, margin finely denticulate. Plant monoecious. Male raceme usually 8-15-flowered; peduncle 10-18 cm, puberulent; pedicel erect, 5-12 cm, minutely spreading bracteate, bracts 3(-5) mm; calyx tube subcylindric, slightly dilated at apex, 2.5-3 × 4-5 mm, puberulent; segments reflexed, ca. 2 mm. Female flowers solitary; peduncle up to 1 cm; ovary narrowly fusiform, ± villous. Fruit very long, cylindric, 100-200 × 3-4 cm, smooth, sometimes contorted. Seed oblong, 11-17 × 8-10 mm, finely rugulose, margin undulate. Fl. and fr. summer-autumn.
Cultivated in China [cultivated throughout the tropics].
The fruit is eaten as vegetable. The roots and seeds are used medicinally for treating diarrhea.
One of us (Jeffrey) treats this taxon as Trichosanthes cucumerina var. anguina.