Trichosanthes kirilowii seeds mature in Oct.栝楼 gua lou. Open forests, shrublands, grasslands and fields beside villages; 200-1800 m. Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Zhejiang [Japan, Korea].
This plant is the source of "tian hua fen" (the roots), "gua lou zi" (the seeds), and "gua lou pi" (the fruit rind), which are official source drugs in traditional Chinese medicine.
Trichosanthes kirilowii seeds
- Petiole 2-6 cm, striate, villous; leaf blade adaxially deep green, suborbicular, 5-20 × 5-20 cm, papery, usually 3-5(-7)-lobed up to middle, rarely deeply so (nearly up to base) or unlobed; lobes rhombic-obovate or oblong, adaxially rough, margin sometimes remotely shortly lobed, apex obtuse. Male raceme solitary or with solitary flowers in axillary pairs; peduncle 10-20 cm, robust, grooved, slightly hairy, 5-8-flowered at apex; bracts obovate or broadly ovate, 1.5-2.5(-3) × 1-2 cm, margin sinuate-dentate, shortly puberulent, stipitate; calyx tube cylindric, dilated at apex, 2-4 × ca. 1 cm; segments lanceolate, 10-15 × 3-5 mm, entire. Female flowers solitary; pedicel ca. 7.5 cm, shortly puberulent; calyx tube cylindric, ca. 2.5 × 1.2 cm; ovary oblong, 1.2-2 × ca. 1 cm. Fruiting peduncle 4-11 cm; fruit brown-yellow or orange-yellow, oblong or globose, 7-10.5 cm. Seeds sandy beige, oblong-ovate, 11-16 × 7-12 mm, marginate. Fl. May-Aug, fr. Aug-Oct. 2n = 88.