Cucumis silentvalleyi

Botanical name: Cucumis silentvalleyi (Manilal, Sabu& Mathew) Ghebret. & Thulin.

Local name: Kattuvellari
Habitat: Moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests
Flowering & fruiting: July to November
Distribution: Southern Western Ghats (Kerala)

Description: It is a Creeper with scabrid stems. The Leaves are of 4.5 x 5.5 cm long, obtusely 5-angular, cordate at base crenate and scabrid. The petiole is about 6 cm long. The flowers are monoecious, axillary, solitary and pedicellate with tubular calyx tube. Petals are 5, with 10 x 6 mm length and obovate, obtuse with yellow color. Stamens are 3 and free, erect, connective forms a hood. Anthers are flexuous and hispid, ovary fusiform and hispid. Fruits are of 1.5 x 0.8 cm long, ellipsoid and hispid. Seeds are 3.5 x 2 mm long, obovate, compressed and smooth.

Significance: Cucumis silentvalleyi is primarily known as an edible fruit, which are used for pickling, as cooked vegetable or even eaten raw. The flavor is similar to that of the common cucumber.  It has been also used in folk medicine to treat the ailments of stomach.