Chokos and the ‘look-alike’ Moth Plant pest – which have you got?

Chokos and the ‘look-alike’ Moth Plant pest – which have you got?

It’s choko time again! A-n-d the pest moth plant is fruiting too. As the seeds of moth plant are apparently poisonous, please know a real choko from the poisonous alternative.


So how to tell the delicious from the noxious?!

Which is choko and which is Moth Plant?


The fruit look ‘sorta similar’ from the outside so people can easily confuse the two. Yet the leaves, flowers and seeds are different. 

Here’s how:

The Leaves




Choko leaves are similar to grape vine leaves, whereas Moth Plant leaves are different.

Moth Plant:

Moth Plant leaves and fruit

The Fruits

Here are piks of a choko fruit cut in half. One seed in the middle of the fruit.


Here’s a pik of a Moth Plant fruit cut in half – showing the many, many seeds in the center.

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See also the flesh is different – harder, and has a milky sap which can be really irritating so best to not touch it at all [if you must pick this plant, use gloves].


The Seeds

The single seed of the choko sprouts a little root and shoot from the fruit.


Whereas the Moth Plant splits the old, shriveled fruit and releases millions of fluffy seeds [so its also called ‘kapok plant’] to fly on the wind far and wide.

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The flowers

Chokos have 2 types of flowers – the little white-petaled  male ones grow in a long group. The female one [which  forms the fruit we eat] is a single one.


Moth Plant flowers look very different:

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Here’s a link to a Wikipedia article on Moth Plant [also known as Kapok plant, Common moth vine, Cruel vine, and White bladder] for more info.  Also, here’s a Weed Busters article.


I hope this post makes clear the difference between the delicious, edible choko and the noxious, pest Moth Plant.


For more about the delicious chokos:



See the post for how we grow the plants and also for recipes using the fruits too.




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