Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wild bitter gourd

What do you see on the above photo? Yes, there are many kinds of weeds surrounding the palm and one of them is wild bitter gourd.

Where is the wild bitter gourd if you have not seemed before? Wild bitter gourd is one species of creeper and this plant is trying to creep to the palm as shown on above photo.
Let us see how the wild bitter gourd looks like.

This is wild bitter gourd’s leave and the shape like a ‘star’. This creeper looks soft but it creates havoc to planter. I still remember when I was a planter, we spend quite a lot of effort to tackle this plant to avoid it creep our palm. Do you know what happen when wild bitter gourd able to creep the palm. You totally cannot see the oil palm if you do not take immediately action on it. Imaging how the harvester can harvest if you cannot see the palm.

This is wild bitter gourd’s white yellowish flower.

This is wild bitter gourd’s fruit where it is mature to ‘explode’. The shape of wild bitter gourd is rounded compare with the bitter gourd in the market.

Wild bitter gourd can be used to cure diabetes but seldom people are practicing it because the bitter taste. I used to cook with egg and Indian society like to fry it and it taste good.

I still remember chairman’s son asked me could the wild bitter gourd be eaten. I told him yes and instructed my worker to prepare for his dinner. Do you what he told me on the following day. “Lai, I never taste bitter gourd before and yesterday cook is really good.”

This is when the wild bitter gourd’s fruit ‘explode’. Can you see the red seed? This is why the wild bitter gourd germination rate is very fast. We did a survey on the growth of wild bitter gourd and the result shows that the wild bitter gourd can germinate within 22 days. This is a short period and it means we need to spray every month to make sure this creeper does not attach your palm. If in high rainfall period then you can image how fast this plant can grow.

How to control?

We had tested many chemical. One of them is using ‘Stane’ but the cost is not cheap.

Subsequently, we found out that if you maintenance the circle wide enough then it may help you. Increase the circle spray round if possible.

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