Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dangling Small Patola

The dangling patola on long vines
Crossing telephone wires 
Occasionally when I get tired of the available snacks in the College of Architecture canteen, I take a short walk from the Architecture building to the University Cooperative store located near Krus-na-Ligas.  I sometimes buy chips and drinks, or a newly cooked turon in one of the community houses.  In one of my hot afetrnoon walks to the coop store, I noticed a lot of red small pendulous gourds.

I see these small 'patola' plants growing even in my small roof top garden.  They are small vines and their tendrils climb and cover the spines of my large succulent plants.  I remove them quickly before they could choke my ornamental plants.

The red edible fruit
In my garden, the 'patola' fruits are less than an inch in length.  In the U.P. sidewalks; where they grow and fences, trees and even electrical posts and wires; the fruits are considerably larger and more enticingly red. Makes me wonder if they really are edible, as I have heard from some friends, they taste like cucumber. They probably are more attractive to the birds since they are bright colored, which is why I find them on the 3rd floor level where my garden is.

I asked my friend Ulysses Ferreras if he is familiar with the weed patola.  He said it is probably Melothria pendula, a native of South America. And I was hoping they were native.  Just another indication how prolific introduced plants are once they get a foothold on our environment.   
Several red gourds will catch your eye

1 comment:

lark Brion said...

i always see those red patola like thing everywhere here at laguna. when i was a kid, i often play with those. but still, i dont know what are those hahah. but im sure its not melothria pendula, it has smaller fruit than those, and its black and taste like cucumber and i tried it before when an uplander told me before that its edible and its good, i guess.