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General description and special characteristics – A vining annual that grows up to 9m (30 ft) in length, it is grown throughout Asia for its edible shoots, leaves and fruit. The mature fruit dries to produce a gourd with a hard woody shell that can be used as water bottles, ladles and cups. The fruit can be 7.5-15.2 cm (3-6 in) long and varies in shape, from oval to bottle-shaped. 

Varieties -

  • Om Koi: Edible fruit up to 60 cm (24 in.) long.
  • Burmese: Produces very large fruit up to 50 cm (20 in.) long.
  • ECHO: Light green fruit; 15 cm (6 in.) long. Mature fruits can be made into bottles or bird houses when dry.