Cucumis metuliferus Jacques

First published in Ann. Fl. Pomone, sér. 3, 1: 56 (1847)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Tropical & S. Africa, SW. Arabian Peninsula. It is a scrambling annual and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome.

Descriptions

Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E. https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nph.19592

Conservation
Predicted extinction risk: not threatened. Confidence: confident
[AERP]

Cucurbitaceae, C. Jeffrey. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1967

Morphology General Habit
Annual climbing or trailing herb; stem hispid with spreading hairs.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blade broadly ovate-cordate in outline, hispid-hairy especially on the nerves beneath, sinuate-toothed, 32–90 mm. long, 43–100 mm. broad, unlobed or usually palmately 3–5-lobed; lobes triangular or rounded, less often ovate, obtuse to rounded and apiculate; petioles long-spreading hispid-hairy, 37–100 mm. long.
sex Male
Male flowers 1–4 in sessile or up to 10 mm. pedunculate groups; pedicels 2–18 mm. long; receptacle-tube pale green, 3–6 mm. long; lobes filiform, 1.5–4 mm. long; petals yellow, 6–13 mm. long, 2–8 mm. broad, united in lower third.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flowers on 20–60 mm. long stalks; ovary pale green with numerous large darker green fleshy spines each tipped by a broad-based hair, 10–26 mm. long, 3.5–12 mm. across; receptacle-tube 3–5 mm. long; lobes filiform, 2–4 mm. long; petals 8–15 mm. long, 4–10 mm. broad, united below. Male flowers 1–4 in sessile or up to 10 mm. pedunculate groups; pedicels 2–18 mm. long; receptacle-tube pale green, 3–6 mm. long; lobes filiform, 1.5–4 mm. long; petals yellow, 6–13 mm. long, 2–8 mm. broad, united in lower third.
sex Female
Female flowers on 20–60 mm. long stalks; ovary pale green with numerous large darker green fleshy spines each tipped by a broad-based hair, 10–26 mm. long, 3.5–12 mm. across; receptacle-tube 3–5 mm. long; lobes filiform, 2–4 mm. long; petals 8–15 mm. long, 4–10 mm. broad, united below.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit on a stout 20–60 mm. long stalk, which is not expanded upwards, ellipsoid-cylindrical, obscurely trigonous, 60–110 mm. long, 30–61 mm. across, spiny with rather stout broad-based scattered fleshy spines each tipped with a broad-based bristle, deep greenish grey becoming orange-red with obscure longitudinal stripes of small pale markings, rather softly fleshy.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds elliptic in outline, 7–9 × 3.5–4 × 1–1.5 mm.
Habitat
Deciduous woodland and bushland, wooded grassland and grassland; 820–1800 m.
Distribution
north tropical Africa from Nigeria eastwards to the Sudan Republic and Ethiopia, also Congo Republic, south tropical Africa, Transvaal, Natal, South West Africasometimes cultivated elsewhere K2 T3 T4 T5 T7 T8 U1
[FTEA]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Trailing or scandent annual herb to 5 m; stems densely setose
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blade ovate to broadly ovate, deeply cordate, sinuate-deticulate, hispid-setulose becoming scabrid-punctate, 3.5–12 x 3.5–13.5 cm, palmately usually shortly (3–)5-lobed, lobes broadly triangular to ovate or elliptic; petiole 2–11.5 cm long, densely patent-setose
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Monoecious
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Hypanthium
Hypanthium 3.5–6 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals filiform, 1.5–5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals yellow, 6–13 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flowers solitary Male flowers solitary or in 2–10-flowered clusters
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary ellipsoid, 9.5–25 mm long, covered with large soft spines
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Perianth
Perianth as in male flowers
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit oblong-cylindrical, rounded at the ends, 6.5–13 x 3.5–6.5 cm, covered with stout fleshy spines, mottled green, bright red when ripe
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicel
Pedicel 2–7 cm long, little or not expanded towards the apex Pedicels 0.5–3.5 cm long Pedicels 3–16 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds narrowly ovate in outline, 5–9 mm long, fibrillose.
Distribution
S3 tropical Africa, Yemen, sometimes cultivated.
Ecology
Altitude c. 100 m.
[FSOM]

Cucurbitaceae, C. Jeffrey. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978

Morphology General Habit
Annual; stems prostrate or scandent, to 5 m., strongly patent-setose.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-lamina 3·5–12 × 3·5–13·5 cm., ovate to broadly ovate or subpentagonal in outline, cordate, hispid-setulose especially on veins beneath, becoming scabrid-punctate, margins sinuate-denticulate, palmately and usually rather shortly (3)5-lobed, lobes shallowly triangular to ovate or broadly elliptic, rounded to subacute, shortly acuminate, apiculate, very rarely lobulate; basal sinus deep, broad, subrectangular.
Morphology Leaves Petiole
Petiole 2–11·5 cm. long, strongly patent-setulose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers monoecious. Female flowers solitary, sometimes co-axillary with male; pedicel 5–35 mm. long; ovary 9·5–25 × 7·5–10 mm., ellipsoid, covered with large soft spines; perianth similar to that of male flower. male flowers solitary or 2–10 in usually sessile fascicles; pedicels 3–16 mm. long. Receptacle-tube 3·5–6 mm. long, lobes 1·5–mm. long. Petals 3–11 mm. long, yellow or pale orange.
sex Male
male flowers solitary or 2–10 in usually sessile fascicles; pedicels 3–16 mm. long. Receptacle-tube 3·5–6 mm. long, lobes 1·5–mm. long. Petals 3–11 mm. long, yellow or pale orange.
sex Female
Female flowers solitary, sometimes co-axillary with male; pedicel 5–35 mm. long; ovary 9·5–25 × 7·5–10 mm., ellipsoid, covered with large soft spines; perianth similar to that of male flower.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit 6·5–13 × 3·5–6·5 cm., oblong-cylindric, rounded at the ends, bluntly trigonous, ornamented with stout fleshy spines, dark green mottled paler grey-green or yellow, becoming bright red when ripe; fruit-stalk 2–7 cm. long, strongly spiculate, ridged, not or only slightly expanded at the apex.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 5·1–7·4 × 3·0–3·7 × 1·0–1·1 mm., narrowly ovate in outline, compressed, with rounded margins and depressed or slightly convex faces, smooth, sericeous-fibrillose.
[FZ]

Cucurbitaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:1. 1954

Morphology General Habit
A yellow-flowered annual climber
Morphology Leaves
Foliage like that of the cucumber
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit pendulous, scarlet when ripe, with stout spines.
[FWTA]

Common Names

English
Bitter wild cucumber, Hedgehog Gourd, Horned cucumber, Jelly melon

Sources

  • Angiosperm Extinction Risk Predictions v1

    • Angiosperm Threat Predictions
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Somalia

    • Flora of Somalia
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Living Collection Database

    • Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Science Photographs

    • Copyright applied to individual images
  • Plants and People Africa

    • Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
    • © Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/