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Cucumis metuliferus (Jelly melon, African horned cucumber, Kiwano)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Cucurbitales > Family: Cucurbitaceae > Genus: Cucumis

Cucumis metuliferus (Jelly melon, African horned cucumber, Kiwano)

Cucumis metuliferus, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe. [photo Bart Wursten , Flora of Zimbabwe]

Cucumis metuliferus (Jelly melon, African horned cucumber, Kiwano) Cucumis metuliferus (Jelly melon, African horned cucumber, Kiwano)

Cucumis metuliferus, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe. [photo Bart Wursten , Flora of Zimbabwe]

Cucumis metuliferus, Catapu,Mozambique. [photo Bart Wursten , Flora of Zimbabwe]

Native to African woodlands and grasslands, prefering those regions with a hot climate. Within southern Africa, it occurs in Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal). It has become a weed in Queensland, Australia. The fruit is distinctive in having short horn-like processes widely spaced over its surface. It turns orange when ripe. Non-bitter varieties are commercially cultivated in South Africa and New Zealand. In the latter country it has been named and trademarked as 'kiwano', in a similar manner to Kiwifruit.

Links

Publications

  • van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. Food Plants of the World - Identification, Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Briza, Pretoria.

  • Welman, W.G. 2003. Cucurbitaceae. In Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds), Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14: 413-417. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

 


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