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HAVE: Caudiciform cucurbit cuttings--Coccinia quinqueloba

Posted by mark4321 9b CA Sunset 15/16 (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 25, 08 at 23:01

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.

Coccinia quinqueloba in pot

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:

Coccinia quinqueloba small tubers

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:

Coccinnia quinqueloba large tuber

The plant also has interesting leaves:

Coccinia quinqueloba leaf

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

Coccinia quinqueloba male flower

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: HAVE: Caudiciform cucurbit cuttings--Coccinia quinqueloba

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

RE: HAVE: Caudiciform cucurbit cuttings--Coccinia quinqueloba

I just found out that Silverhill seeds says these are hardy to zone 8.

RE: HAVE: Caudiciform cucurbit cuttings--Coccinia quinqueloba

Mark, I'd like a cutting if they're still available. Please email me at 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:


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