This plant is native to tropical Africa to Australia. It was first found growing wild on Oahu in 1909. Since then, it has spread and become naturalized around Hawai’i in disturbed areas. It is popular in Chinese and Filipino cooking.
Description and Dispersal:
- This is a vine with simple leaves
- There are 5 lobes which are ovate
- The leaves are about 4-10 cm long and 4-8 cm wide
- It has staminate flowers on stalks 4-80 mm long
- The fruit is green when young and orangish-red when ripe
- The fruits are ridged with subconical spines.