Snake Gourd

Snake Gourd

Scientific name:Cucumis sativus L.

English name: Snake Gourd.

Local name: ‘Chichinga’

Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1988)

Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Sub-class: Dilleniidae
Order: Violales
Genus: Cucumis
Species: C. sativus

Botanical Description of Snake Gourd

Habit: An annual, climbing herb.

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Root: Tap root system

Stem: Slender, branched, angular, puberulous.

Leaf: Leaves cordate, suborbicular or orbicular-reniform.8-16 x 6-15 cm, membranous, more or less deeply 5- (rarely 3-7) lobed, lobes usually obovate, finely denticulate, petioles 5-10 cm long, stout, striate, villose.

Inflorescence: Plants monoecious.


Male flowers: Peduncles 10-25 cm long, robust, 8-15 flowered, calyx tube sub-cylindrical, slightly dilated at the apex, 2-3 x 4- 5 mm, puberulous, corolla c 8 x 3 mm, 5-lobed, lobes oblong, fimbriate, 3-nerved. stamens 3,inserted in the calyx tube, filaments slender, c 2 mm long, anthers ovoid, pistillode 15-17 mm long.

Female flowers: solitary, calyx and corolla as in the male, ovary narrowly fusiform, more or less villous, style slender, stigmas 3. Fruits very long, up to 1.5 m, cylindric, smooth, twisted with 6-8 white stripes along with the length. Seeds c 12-17 x 8-10 mm and c 3-5 mm thick, oblong, finely rugulose, undulate, apex round or obscurely truncate, base attenuate.

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Economic Importance: This plant is largely used as vegetables either boiled or in curries. The fruits are used as a tonic. The roots and seeds are anthelmintic, and applied in biliousness and syphilis.

Table 1. Snake gourd variety developed by BARI, Joydebpur, gazipur, Bangladesh


Sl. NoName of VarietyDeveloped byGrowing seasonYield
1BARI Snake gourd-1


BARIKharif25-30 ton/ha



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