The Fluted Pumpkin Telfairia occidentalis is a tropical vine grown in West Africa as a leaf vegetable and for its edible seeds. Common names for the plant include fluted gourd, fluted pumpkin, and ugu. T. occidentalis is a member of the Cucurbitaceous family and is indigenous to southern Nigeria. The fluted gourd grows in many nations of West Africa, but is mainly cultivated in Nigeria, used primarily in soups and herbal medicines. Although the fruit is inedible, the seeds produced by the gourd are high protein and fat, and can, therefore, contribute to a well-balanced diet. The plant is a drought-tolerant, dioecious perennial that is usually grown trellised.
Telfairia occidentalis, commonly called Fluted pumpkin is a vegetable which belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. It is a crop of commercial importance grown in West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone), being the major producers. Fluted Pumpkin is majorly cultivated for its leaves and eaten as potherb. Potherb is any plant used to add flavour in cooking. The seeds can be eaten whole by boiling and for egusi soup. It is called Ugu in Igboland, Iroko in Yorubaland and Umeke in Edo.