HAVE: Caudiciform cucurbit cuttings--Coccinia quinqueloba

mark4321_gwOctober 25, 2008

I have a Coccinia quinqueloba plant that I've clocked at an average of 3 inches a day on 5 vines, and these were not the only vines growing. Hence I've had to take a number of cuttings to keep it under control--I have dozens.

The rooted cuttings are free, although if you have anything you think I might like, by all means let me know.

There is very little info about the plant online. If you locate an unusual picture of the fruit, it's not genuine--ask me for details. Since there is so little info out there, here are some pictures.

I bought the plant as a seedling in a 4 inch pot in mid-July. Here's what it looks like now in what's probably about a 2 gallon hanging pot. The vines have been clipped 4 times, otherwise they would be much, much longer. The earlier leaves are not deeply lobed; the later ones are.

The big question with caudiciform/tuberous plants is whether the cuttings will grow normal tubers; most will not. Here are three cuttings about 6 weeks or so old that I just dug up. They appear to show signs of tuber formation, even though the cuttings have not shown much vegetative growth yet. I take it as a very encouraging sign to see what appears to be the initiation of tubers so early on:

The tuber on the mother plant appears to be huge relative to the age of the plant--in one direction it extends 4 1/4 inches from the central stem. I have not dug it up so I don't know its full size. It also now protrudes above the surface of the soil by about an inch:

The plant also has interesting leaves:

And flowers (the species is dioecious, this is a male):

So although I can't guarantee these will reproduce the large tubers, there's certainly a chance and it would make a good candidate to raise the tuber to display as a caudiciform--although the mother plant seems to want to raise the tuber by itself...

I don't know what the hardiness is--probably zone 9 or 10. I don't know if it's deciduous--the mother plant is currently sending out a bunch of new shoots so I doubt that it will lose its leaves anytime too soon.

As I say, there is little info out there on these guys. One resource would be Birhmann's site--he has pictures of other Coccinias as well as short descriptions.


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mark, i'd love one of your tubers. the leaves look like fig leaves,don't they?i could send you cuttings of silverlace vine or purple castor beans.plmk, thanks ahead,molly

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 11:49AM
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I just found out that Silverhill seeds says these are hardy to zone 8.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 1:24AM
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Mark, I'd like a cutting if they're still available. Please email me at cacatnip@yahoo.com. I also have some cuttings of Senecio orbicularis if you are interested in trading. Thanks!

Here is a pic of S. orbicularis. It will also form tuberous caudex from a cutting:


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 12:01AM
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