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 choko from the look-alike noxious moth plant?!
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.
Choko leaves are similar to grape vine leaves, whereas Moth Plant leaves are different.
Choko fruit cut in half. One seed in the middle of the fruit.
Moth Plant fruit cut in half – showing the many, many seeds in a clump in the center.
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 single seed of the choko sprouts a little root and shoot from the fruit to grow one new plant.
Whereas the Moth Plant fruit produces millions of fluffy seeds as it splits the old, shriveled fruit [so its also called ‘kapok plant’] to fly on the wind far and wide.
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 and hangs from a stalk on the small end of the fruit.
Moth Plant flowers look very different:
Moth plant fruit hangs from a stalk on the fat end of the fruit.
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.