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Edible Portion: Seeds, Leaves, Fruit, Vegetable, Flowers

A pumpkin family plant. It is an annual vine with large leaves. It can grow 3-9 m long and spread 3-6 m wide. The thick stems have furrows along them. It can climb over logs by attaching the tendrils which grow out of the stem near the leaf. The leaves are large and have soft hairs especially underneath. Flowers of both sexes are borne in the same plant. The plant produces male flowers first and these are on long stalks. Next it produces female flowers on short stalks. Flowers are large and white. They can be 10 cm across. They are mainly pollinated by insects. Fruit vary in shape. The fruit can be 8-90 cm long. They have brown seeds in a whitish green pulp. There are several varieties.