Herpetospermum Pedunculosum

Species: Herpetospermum pedunculosum

Genus: Herpetospermum
Family: Cucurbitaceae 

Tribus: Schizopeponeae
Habitats:Forest edges, especially along trails at elevations of 1000 - 3000 metres in Nepal . Thickets and forest sides on mountain slopes at elevations of 2300 - 2500 metres in Tibet.

Range:E. Asia - Himalayas to China and Tibet.

 Summary:Herpetospermum pedunculosum is a ANNUAL CLIMBER growing to 2 m (6ft 7in). It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are 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 seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects.

Medicinal Uses:The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are considered to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Anti-inflammatory, cholagogue, choleretic and febrifuge, they are used in the treatment of piles, inflammation of the stomach and the intestines.The pounded root is used to treat problems of the bile ducts.

Cultivation Details:We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. However, judging by its native range, it could succeed outdoors at least in the milder areas of the country. Judging by its native habitat, it is likely to prefer growing along a warm sunny woodland border in Britain.


Propagation:Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and consider giving them some winter protection for at least their first winter outdoors - a simple pane of glass is usually sufficient.


[K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[241]Tsarong. Tsewang. J. Tibetan Medicinal Plants
A nice little pocket guide to the subject with photographs of 95 species and brief comments on their uses.
[266] Flora of China
On-line version of the Flora - an excellent resource giving basic info on habitat and some uses.
[272]Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal

Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.