Fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis)

Fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis)
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Telfairia occidentalis is a tropical vine grown in West Africa as a leaf vegetable and for its edible seeds. Common names for the plant include fluted gourd, fluted pumpkin, iroko, and ugu. Ugwu is also a Nigerian surname particular with people from Enugu state in eastern Nigeria.

The plant is dioecious, perennial, and drought-tolerant. It is usually grown trellised.

The young shoots and leaves of the female plant are the main ingredient of Nigerian edikang ikong soup.

The large (up to 5 cm), dark red seed is rich in fat and protein, and can be eaten whole, ground into powder for another kind of soup, or made into a fermented porridge.

The fruit of the plant is large, reaching 13 kg, but inedible.

Categories: Cucurbitaceae | Leaf vegetables | Edible nuts and seeds | Vegetable stubs