Ivy Gourd

ivygourdIvy gourd (Coccinia grandis)

(Cucurbitaceae)

Considered very invasive and is on the Hawaii State Noxious Weed List.

Description:

  • Fast-growing vine with ivy-shaped leaves, white flowers, and 1-3 inch long red fruits.
  • Native to tropical Africa and Asia, introduced to Hawaii as a backyard food crop (known as “Thai spinach”)

ivygourd2Harm:

  • Vines grow over and smother vegetation, and cover fences and power lines.
  • Threatens natural and managed areas.
  • Difficult to control because plants regrow from deep roots, even after treating with herbicide.
  • Although ivy gourd requires cross-pollination between male and female plants, it is able to spread quickly and can grow up to four inches per day.

In Hawaii:

  • Kauai: Present in limited areas, appears to have been planted for personal use in some areas. Currently being controlled by KISC.
  • Oahu: Widespread around Waimanalo, Honolulu, Ewa, North Shore, offshore islets. Too widespread for OISC control actions. OISC encourages local control efforts by individual property owners to stop its spread.
  • Maui: Localized infestations occur in Kapalua, Kihei, and Lahaina. Isolated plants have been seen in Kahului, Makawao, and Waiehu. MISC is working to control or eradicate.
  • Molokai: Not yet known to be present on Molokai. MoMISC is monitoring, asks the public’s help in early detection.
  • Lanai: Two locations are being monitored and controlled by MISC.
  • Kahoolawe: None known.
  • Big Island: Widespread around Kona. Considered too widespread for BIISC control, control by property owners is the only option.

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