Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt (= C. indica Wight et Arnold, Coccinia cordifolia (Auct.)) (Cucurbitaceae, Violales) commonly known as ivy gourd, scarlet gourd, tindori, tindola, or kovai kai, is native to north-central East Africa (Chun, 2001), but it is also found wild in the Indo-Malayan region (Singh, 1990). Coccinia includes 29 additional species and they are found only in tropical Africa (Singh, 1990). Coccinia grandis was introduced by humans mostly as a food crop to several countries in Asia Australia, Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and southern United States (Jeffrey, 1967; Linney, 1986; Nagata, 1988; Singh, 1990; Telford, 1990). It has become naturalized in these parts of the world because it is capable of thriving well in warm, humid, tropical regions. In Fiji, it occurs as a naturalized weed in degraded land, cane fields, and road sides (Smith, 1981). Of these introductions, only in Hawaii (Murai et al., 1998) and the Mariana Islands (McConnell and Muniappan, 1991) did it become invasive in the 1980s.
Coccinia grandis is a dioecious, perennial, and herbaceous climber, with glabrous stems, tuberous roots, and axillary tendrils. Leaves are alternate and simple. Fruit is a smooth, bright red, ovoid to ellipsoid berry 2.5–6 cm (Whistler, 1995). It is a smothering, aggressive vine, with an extensive tuberous root system. In Hawaii, C. grandis is highly naturalized and spreads rapidly in disturbed sites, 0–245 m in elevation (Wagner et al., 1999).