Trichosanthes kirilowii Chinese Snake Gourd
A perennial climber in the Cucurbitaceae family that is native to the open forests, shrublands and grasslands of China, Japan and Korea. Produces attractive, palmate leaves and large, intricate, fringed, white flowers, followed by hanging fruits. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if fruit and seed is required). The whole plant is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Flowering July to September. Height 6 metres. Sun to part shade in moisture retentive, well-drained soil.