Tokyo Food Safety Information Center » Good things to know »  Poisonous plants easily mistaken for harmless ones » Bottle gourd (Cucurbitaceae)

Bottle gourd (Cucurbitaceae)

Annual plant considered to originate in tropical Asia. In Japan, its varieties bottle gourd, gourd and calabash are cultivated. The bottle gourd fruit is considered edible and its dried shavings called Kanpyou are eaten.
On the other hand, bottle gourd has other varieties used as rootstock for watermelon grafted seedling. When the fruit grows, it develops a strong bitter taste and cases of poisonings after ingestion have been reported.


Parts of the plant that may be ingested accidentally. Fruit
Symptoms Lip numbness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea
Venomous constituents Cucurbitacin


Bureau of Public Health, Tokyo Metropolitan Government
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