Kingdom : Plantae
(unranked) : Angiosperms
(unranked) : Eudicots
(unranked) : Rosids
Order : Cucurbitales
Family : Cucurbitaceae
Genus : Coccinia
Species : C. grandis
Binomial name : Coccinia grandis
Ivy gourd or 'Coccinia grandis' , more popularly known as tendli or tindora, is a plant grown widely in the tropical regions. It is a very common vegetable in India and Pakistan. It is a climbing vine, which is highly aggressive in nature. It very quickly spreads over other plants, shrubs, bushes, fences, and may even creep in through your window. It grows very fast, and is an annual crop. It can spread either by way of seeds, or even vegetative. The climber is slender, and has roots coming out at places. The tendrils or tip is quote long, and can wrap around the host very effectively. It has elastic properties, making it easier to make its way up. It has large, white flowers, leaves in the shape of hearts or sometimes pentagons, and it has a green fruit when it is raw, which matures into a bright ripe red by the time it is ready to be picked. These fruits are of the berry varieties, being oval in shape, and with no hair whatsoever. Many people belonging to South Asian countries, as well as Indonesia, consume the fruits and the leaves.
Coccinia grandis' native range extends from Africa to Asia including India, Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, eastern Papua, New Guinea and Northern Territories (Australia) . Its
documented introduced range includes the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Saipan, Hawai‘i, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu .
Seeds or fragments of the vine can be relocated and lead to viable offspring. This can occur when humans transport organic debris or equipment containing C. grandis. Once Ivy Gourd is established, it is presumed
|tendli male and female flower|
that it is spread by birds, rats and other mammals. In Hawaii, suggests that the fruit may be dispersed by pigs. Long distance dispersal is most commonly carried out by humans due to its culinary uses or by mistake.
Regarded as very invasive and on the Hawaii State Noxious Weed List, Ivy gourd can grow up to four inches per day. Coccinia grandis grows in dense blankets that shade other plants from sunlight and high-jacking
|seeds arrangement in tendli|
nutrients. Native to tropical Africa and Asia, it was introduced to Hawai'i as a backyard food crop. It is sometimes tolerated along garden fences and other outdoor features because of its attractive white flowers. It has escaped to become a vigorous pest in Hawai'i, Florida, Australia, and Texas. In Hawai'i, this plant has spread quickly through Manoa Valley to Punchbowl and into Waimanalo, Oahu, and also into the Kona area. Ivy Gourd's environmental effects are that it smothers and forms a dense canopy smothering and effectively killing vegetation underneath.
There are both physical and chemical recommendations for control of Ivy Gourd. It is very difficult to control this plant physically except for bagging fruits. Hand-harvesting normally does not kill the plant but rather breaks the vine blankets into smaller pieces and the plant is able to reestablish when it touches the ground. These methods can make the infestation worse and further the need for more rigorous control methods.
Picking the fruit and placing them in plastic bags can help decrease the seed back that is present with the soil. It is reported by PIER, that when utilizing chemical controls, that Ivy Gourd responded well to a thin-lined bark application of 100% Garlon 4 (triclopyr), leaving plants in place so as not to translocate the herbicide or spread the pest. It is applied multiple times until the vine dies. In Hawaii several species of insect have been introduced with the purpose of being a biocontrol. Two weevils, Acythopeus burkhartorum and A. cocciniae, were introduced by the DOA to Oahu and Hawai'i. African vine moths (Melittia oedipus) were also released onto Oahu and Maui. On the island of Maui it appears that the A. cocciniae is established and are damaging leaves. The larva feed on the plant and the adults chew holes in the leaves. The moth has yet to appear successful in its purpose.
Cultivation in Southeast Asia, ivy gourd is grown for its edible young shoots and edible fruits .
After you have bought the ivy gourd from the market, and you want to have it after a few days, the best way to keep it fresh as much as possible, is to wrap it up in a plastic bag or put it in a sealed container, and put it in
the crispier drawers of your refrigerator. You may also put it into the vegetable drawer to keep it fresh for up to a week, if it is stored at about 50 degrees F.
Ivy gourd, or tendli as it is more commonly known as, has a large number of culinary usages. Just like most vegetables, they can be prepared in a numer of ways before being cooked. Some of them are:
The tendli is chopped into small pieces or larger chunks or cubes as the need may be, and added to many other vegetables like carrots or potatoes to create curries.
It may be grated and had with cream sauce or used in sandwiches.
A unique style of cutting the tendli is cutting it in a circular shape, to form tendli rings. These may be used in a large variety of recipes.
You may also cut the tendli into halves, and remove the inner seeds and have only the soft fleshy interior. You may also slice it with the help of a sharp knife, and deep fry it along with chillies. This is very common in Mexico.
In many parts os West Indies and South Asia, tendli is cooked along with potatoes, and served along with curd or yoghurt, or may even be used in vegetable preparations.
Tendli can also be stuffed by removing the seeds, and adding a large number of spices to it. Different combinations can be tried out, according to your liking.
Like many other vegetables, even ivy gourd has many medicinal benefits.
Ivy gourd extracts and other forms of the plant can be purchased online and in health food stores. It is claimed that these products help regulate blood sugar levels.
Although these claims have not been supported, there currently is a fair amount of research focused on the medicinal properties of this plant focusing on its use as an antioxidant, anti-hypoglycemic agent, immune system modulator, etc. Some countries in Asia like Thailand prepare traditional tonic like drinks for medicinal purposes.
It is rich in Vitamin C, which helps in strengthening your bones and improving your body structure. It also has plenty of Vitamin B1 and B2, as also trace quantities of Vitamin A. All these vitamins are vital for the human body, and help in strengthening your immune system, and thus keep away diseases.
Tendli is also rich in minerals like potassium, calcium and iron, which are needed in optimum quantities for the optimum functioning of your body.
Ivy gourd goes a long way to help in controlling diabetes. Researchers have found out that the mechanism by ivy gourd stops diabetes is very complicated,. What it basically does is to suppress the formation or activity of an enzyme called G – 6 – phosphotase, along with some other enzymes, which are responsible for the production of glucose in the body.
Apart from that, ivy gourd has many references in the historic ayurveda, which is still so popular in today’s world which has such a huge market in cosmetics. Ivy gourd is said to be a brilliant bloody purifier and detoxifier, which thus helps in cleansing your body. It also simulates the liver, and clears harmful germs from your body.
The fibre content in ivy gourd is also responsible for preventing or curing constipation, as also for clearing the alimentary canal and the smooth functioning of the body.