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Caigua (Cyclanthera pedata)

Caigua (Cyclanthera pedata)

Is anyone else here growing this Andean vegetable?
I am growing Caigua for the first year and am very impressed. It is a very fast growing vine, related to cucumber, which thrives in our cool summer climate. Fruit is being produced in abundance. We have been eating the immature fruits, which taste like cucumber, raw right off the plant. The mature fruits, as shown in the photo, are about 10 inches long and hollow. They taste great in stews as well as stuffed (Caigua rellena). Caigua also has various traditional medicinal uses to lower cholesterol, as antidiabetic and others.
What is your favourite recipe?

The following thread was started by Michael, Pacifica, sz17 on October 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm PST

I have a defoliated one

I have a small one that was growing well on Monday, I took a look at it last night and every single leaf was completely eaten to the stem. :(
They are very fast growing though, and they germinate in 1-3 days.

The above followup was added by Jason (z17, Palo Alto) on October 16, 2009 at 9:06 pm PST.

I'd love to get some seeds

I've never heard of this, it looks very interesting. Michael, can you save me some seeds?


The above followup was added by Axel on October 17, 2009 at 6:57 pm PST.

Slugs like them

Jason, I found that the young plants are quite tender and slugs really seem to like them. I lost quite a few after planting them out but the ones that survived really made up for it. Yesterday we just harvested another 3 lb after the ~12 lb a few weeks ago, and this from just 3 plants.

Axel, I have saved plenty of seeds which I can send you.

The above followup was added by Michael, Pacifica, sz17 on October 19, 2009 at 2:17 pm PST.

Seed for sale?

Its great to find others who like Caigua too.

I had bought some seeds I found on e-bay about two years ago for my mother's garden but one of the dogs ended up tearing the plant. Since then, I have been searching for some more seeds. Would you consider selling me some?

In the past mom gad combined Caigua and quinoa together, very tasty.

Hope to hear from you soon

The above followup was added by Monica on December 17, 2009 at 0:48 am PST.

caigua seeds having a H of a time trying to get some am not ver ygood on computer

Please let me know if you can sell me some achocha caigusylvia
a thanks

The above followup was added by sylviafrogart on January 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm PST.

epino de comer caigua achocha hlp,need seeds por favor.

am dreaming of ladys slipper and related plants seeds. also large squashes I can trade or buy:achocha caigua-please thanks a ton, sylvia

The above followup was added by sylvia on February 09, 2010 at 6:06 pm PST.


I am looking to buy Achocha (Cyclanthers pedata) seeds.

Please contact me

The above followup was added by gabriele on March 26, 2010 at 10:07 am PST.

caigua seeds for sale

i have a few caigua seed if anyone wants to purchase, just email me.These came direct from Peru

The above followup was added by Kevin Lewis on April 13, 2010 at 4:10 pm PST.

caigua cultivation

I am growing caigua for the first time this year. Can someone tell me if it is an annual or evergreen? Or does it die back after fruiting and grow away from the base each year like chokos/christophines do? Mine are growing in a zone where we may get 2 or 3 very light frosts each winter.

The above followup was added by Jackie Davidson on April 21, 2010 at 10:20 am PST.

Caigua for medicinal purposes?

Is anyone growing caigua for their supposed cholesterol-lowering effect? What climate
will it grown in? I know absolutely nothing about this plant, never even heard of it until researching alternative cholesterol-lowering remedies.....can you also eat the seeds or
are they discarded before consuming?

The above followup was added by Sandy on May 03, 2010 at 9:52 pm PST.

Grows well in California coastal climate

My only experience is that caigua grows extremely well in the cool coastal climate of Central California and will be killed by any temperatures below 32F. I grow it because I like the taste and it adds to the diversity of veggies we eat. Any health benefit I see just as a bonus. I would not trust any information the companies give you who are selling caigua as a natural cholesterol lowering remedy. As far as I know there was only one small clinical study in Peru in 1995 which was not published in any reputable scientific journal. Probably because it did not meet GCP standards. My conclusion so far: There may be some evidence but scientific data are pretty weak at this point and a larger well controlled study would need to be conducted. At this point I interpret it as 'eating vegetables is good for you and keeps you healthy'.

You cannot eat the seeds once the fruits are mature since they are fairly large and hard. The immature fruits are excellent to eat raw right off the plant including the seeds which are very soft at this stage.

The above followup was added by Michael, Pacifica, sz17 on May 04, 2010 at 10:32 am PST.

Plants grow well, but no fruit

I planted some seed that came from Peru. The plants has been growing like crazy since May, but not even a single flower or fruit. I live in Northern Virginia near DC. Can anybody help me figure out why?

The above followup was added by Mike on September 19, 2010 at 6:14 am PST.

They can take some time

Mine take some time to get established, then are growing like crazy. Once the vines reach about 6ft they start blooming. We have been eating them for a couple of weeks now. A possibility that yours are not blooming could be that they had too much heat.

The above followup was added by Michael, Pacifica, sz17 on September 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm PST.

i put one seed in a topsy turvy seems to be doing well

i bought my seeds online ,

The above followup was added by iggy on September 22, 2010 at 10:41 pm PST.

Flowering and harvest

I planted seed that I purchased from a Peruvian source. I am in Utah at about 6000 ft. Grew huge early and true to the literature I had read, only began flowering when daylength slipped to less than 12 hours. They have had 2 very light frosts - to about 30 degrees F. The fruit is still maturing and in the past two weeks I have collected 3 pods of mature seed for my personal seed bank- which is my primary goal. Pleasant tasting raw, I am going to try doing a rellano style recipe, hopefully this week.

The above followup was added by Brock on November 02, 2010 at 12:03 am PST.

Michael, would also love some seed!

Very interesting vegy cool looking also. If you have some seeds to spare I would love to try them here with our cooler coastal weather. Still have the red occa growing I got from you awhile back, we like it. Thank's .

The above followup was added by Robert aka. Scotty in A.G. on November 02, 2010 at 8:27 pm PST.

Harvest in full swing

My plants are again very productive this year. We have been eating a lot of caigua over the last couple of weeks. So far about 15 lb from 8 plants with no end in sight.
Robert, you are very welcome to have some seeds. Just let me know how many. I am glad you like the oca. They are very delicious and my family is also crazy about them. I alway have a nice size patch growing. Even some top chefs are now starting to discover these. ;)

The above followup was added by Michael, Pacifica, sz17 on November 03, 2010 at 8:48 am PST.

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