Pages

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Who Can Identify This?

We have this creeper crawling all over our side fence. It's been there forever - a neglected but thriving vine. It's holding up the dilapidated fence and sprawling over one of Monkey Man's junk piles. But it only recently occurred to me that maybe it's edible? Could this be a choko vine?

I saw someone's blog post about choko a few months back and a little twing went off in my brain.

I can't say I've ever eaten a choko and I can't say it looks too appealing. I wouldn't have a clue about how to begin cooking it but I'm willing to give it a go. Provided enough of you can confirm that it is in fact a choko and I won't go poisoning the family.

23 comments:

  1. I'm not so sure that this is a choko. The leaves don't look right. What size is the fruit?
    I'm taking a wild wild guess here as I don't really know much about them - but could it possible be a Feijoa? google it and see if it matches? cheers Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thought feijoa (from the foliage) until you described it as a vine. Perhaps you could cut into one and post a photo of its innards!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Or go to a local extension or nursery to find out for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Although the fruit looks like a choko, as already said the leaves are wrong. I think this is a moth vine also known as a false choko. Good luck with your search!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree with Miss B - a moth vine. Rip it out.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Definitely not a Choko / Christophene. Choko leaves look similar to those of the cucurbit family , e.g. Squash. If you cut open a fruit you might get more of a clue. The choko has a single large fruit, usually dark coloured.
    We like using choko in cooking, so it might have been my blog where you saw a mention - http://marksvegplot.blogspot.com/2010/11/lesser-known-ingredients-christophene.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think perhaps it is a wild version (non edible) choko, so agree with Miss B. We have then on our fence.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ah well. Never mind. Thanks everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't worry too much - I find chokos bland and pretty ordinary anyway.

      Delete
  9. Nope - not choko - definitely moth vine - it seeds like a crazy thing - rip it out. The seeds are feathery like things that take off in the wind - it's a weed. My neighbour had one and it seeded into my yard - I'm still pulling out the little plantlets that pop up everywhere - http://sydneyweeds.org.au/moth-vine/

    ReplyDelete
  10. What ever you do , dont' eat it. It looks like a choko but as Lilian says, it is a weed and it is poisonous. Chokos are smooth ,not furry like these.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Veggie gobbler - this is going to make me sound like a complete nerd, but you asked!(I am an amateur botanist so I guess I am a bit nerdy!). This is Araujia sericifera or otherwise known as Moth Plant. It is an introduced species to Australia from South America. It "scrambles over neglected fences and gardens", has "white to creme coloured flowers" and "swollen grey-green fruit" that are filled with tufty seeds with silky hairs and found in coastal Sydney. If that sounds like your beast, that is what it is. There are several in my neighbourhood of Marrickville. I think they look very pretty. I especially like their flowers. But they are definately not chokos. This information has come from the very handy " Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney" by Les Robinson - one of my bibles. While this IS NOT a native plant, his book includes many established introduced plants.

    There is nothing in the description that says it's poisonous, but the fruit is inedible anyway casue its filled with those tufty seeds. Just enjoy it, it is very pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers for the info :-)

      Delete
  12. Hey gardenglut you don't sound like a nerd - just informative. Thanks. I definitely won't be eating it. And despite everyone's advice to rip it out that won't happen for a while yet. Even though your information that they hang about "neglected fences and gardens" did cause a pang of guilt... that side of the house is hard to get to and I think it'll stay neglected for a while still ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't feel guilty... its just the book's lingo. I think there is a great beauty in the parts of the garden we leave go a little. They are often the places where great insects dwell - whole ecosystems of things left to get on with it.

      Delete
  13. Please don't eat these...they are very poisonous...and the people who called it a Moth Vine are correct. I did a post on this last year on my blog. You will find it hard to eliminate completely, but be vigilant with pulling any up, and cutting off the fruit before they explode and spread more seed.

    http://justlikemynanmade.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/when-choko-is-not-choko.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. They are a noxious weed. When those pods ripen they send billions of tiny feathery seeds everywhere. They will take over waste areas. Please please pull it out.
    And yes they are very poisonous!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. These plants are a nightmare. Do yourself, your neighbours and New Zealand a favour and rip it out!

    ReplyDelete
  16. These are moth vine(Araujia sericifera), a "weed" but not toxic & ARE edible!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mothplant - tasty, if you don't mind the sticky whtie sap, let it sip out first, hardly any taste, the young leaves are edible too, i just microwave the young crunchy fruit (not the old ones) and it's little bit sweeter afterward, delicious. eat it raw also, almost like tofu i.e. no taste. i have 2 at home, growing up along the fence.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thought I'd add to the conversation. "A friend of mine" thought these were choko and cooked them up. I started to eat and during dinner asked what it was. When I realised what it was, I panicked a bit. But no sickness of any kind was had by anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have one of these vines growing in my garden that my mom purposefully planted. It grows pretty quickly and must by snipped every once in a while to control the size of the bush. I was doing some internet research to find out what they might be since my mom didn't know. Turns out, it's a white moth vine, which explains it's weedlike properties of fast growth and smothery-ness. I've been eating the juvenile pods for a few months now and have not died, so I can safely assume they are not poisonous. You want to pick the pods when they are about as long as your longest finger and about 2-3 fingers wide. When you cut off the stem to prepare it, it does exude a milky latex substance that I myself don't find irritating, but it could be irritating to others. In it's juvenile form, seeds haven't developed yet, so the whole pod is pretty tender. The milky latex is similar to that of a chayote (I think you guys are calling it a choko), but I find it not as messy or sticky as a chayote. The taste is very sweet and delicious. The texture reminds me of the fleshy bits of a bell pepper (the part attached to the seeds that you throw away) and the taste is reminiscent of a cross between a zucchini and a chayote. We usually stir fry it or cook it how we would any other tender squash.

    ReplyDelete
  20. one can see so many of these plants growing all over te ika a māui, aotearoa in tāmaki makaurau, i saw this plant before i knew what choko or chayote was.

    from research i discovered it was the moth vine, and although many say and think "poisonous" or "toxic". one day i picked a fruit and ate it, it tasted rather good, crunchy and kind of sweet. i had no health problems from this. so as far as i know it is not toxic or poisonous.

    although it is viewed as a noxious weed, or pest plant. like so many plant in this category, it is only able to gain such a foothold and spread because of areas that have been disturbed by human habitation, and if left undisturbed the native bush would probably eventually reclaim the land, and the mothvine would dissapear of it's own accord i find the moth vine to be rather nice looking and interesting for a "weed". In the same category as the tobacco weed or wooly nightshade (Solanum mauritianum), which i find to be a pleasant and interesting addition to our many species growing on the island here

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails