Mahalingana Balli or Lollipop Climber is a perennial climber native to rainforests and dry rainforests. It is also known as Striped Cucumber, Marble Vine in English and Shivalingi in Hindi. The botanical name is Diplocyclos palmatus and belongs to family Cucurbitaceae (pumpkin family).
Mahalingana Balli or Lollipop Climber grows as a weed in India. The stem is hairless and can grow upto 6 meters long. The leaves are simple, alternate, lobed, with an unpleasant odor when crushed.
Flowers are white to greenish-yellowish and small. The main attraction of this creeper are the fruits. They are oval, around 1.5 to 2.5 cms. Turns Red when rip with longitudinal white stripes. Looks like the candies or lollipops.
The fruits of Lollipop Climber are ripe during the month of November and hence the creeper is used to decorate the water pot used on Neeru thumbva habba (water filling festival / Dhanteres) during Diwali.
Lollipop Climber is used in Ayurveda to treat various ailments.
Mahalingana Balli or Lollipop Climber is propagated by seeds.