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

Chokos and the ‘look-alike’ noxious 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 choko from the look-alike noxious moth plant?!

Which is choko and which is Moth Plant?

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Moth Plant fruit
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Choko fruit


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

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.

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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 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.

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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 and hangs from a stalk on the small end of the fruit.



Moth Plant flowers look very different:

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Moth plant fruit hangs from a stalk on the fat end of the fruit.

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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