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  Cucumis metuliferus E.Mey. ex Naudin
  Family Name : Cucurbitaceae

  Synonyms : Cucumis tinneanus

  Common Names : African Horned Cucumber, Kiwano, Jelly Melon

  Chinese Name : 刺角瓜

 
African Horned Cucumber,Kiwano,Jelly Melon
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Climber, Vine & Liana
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Autotrophic
      Maximum Height :
      3 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Southern and Central Africa
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Desert / Arid
      Local Conservation Status :
      Exotic
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Climbing herbaceous vine up to 3 m long. 
      Foliage: The leaves are egg- to heart-shaped (10 cm long, 9 cm wide) and usually have 3-5 lobes. The veins on the underside are roughly hairy.  
      Flowers: Male and female flowers occur on the same plant. Female, light green flowers are always solitary, while male green to light yellow flowers may be solitary or occur in clusters of up to 4.
      Fruits: The yellow, spiky fruits are cylindrical or shaped like an ellipsoid (6-15 cm long, 3-6 cm wide). They contain a mass of flat, ellipsoid seeds coated in a light green jelly.
      Associated Fauna :
      In its native habitat, birds, rodents and small mammals consume the jelly-coated seeds which provide an important source of water.
      Cultivation :
      It grows best in sandy soil which is watered regularly.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: There are bitter forms which may be toxic and non-bitter forms which are edible. The taste of non-bitter forms has been described as bland, sour, or a combination of pineapple and banana. The jelly-coated seeds can be consumed raw or added to fruit salads. The fruit pulp can be pickled or made into a jelly.)
      Medicinal (The African tribe known as 'Shona' use a root decoction to relieve pain after childbirth.)
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      Small Gardens, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Economic Garden
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Spines/Thorns - Fruit
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water, Little Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Moderate
      Potential Problems :
      Susceptible to white flies and mildew. Relatively resistant to most insect pests.
      Propagation Method :
      Seed
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Unisexual Flowers (Monoecious)
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Green - Light Green, Yellow / Golden
      Flower Grouping :
      Solitary
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Yellow / Golden
      Mature Fruit Texture(s) :
      Thorny / Spiny
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Fleshy Fruit (Non-Accessory Fruit: Pepo)
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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