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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Cucurbitaceae
Citrullus lanatus

Citation: Matsum. & Nakai, Cat. Semin. Spor. Hort. Bot. Univ. Imp. Tokyo 30:854 (1916).

Synonymy: Momordica lanata Thunb., Prodr. Fl. Cap. 13 ( 1794); Cucurbita citrullus L., Sp. Pl. 1010 (1753); Citrullus vulgatus Schrader in Ecklon & Zeyher, Enum. Pl. Afr. aust. extratrop 279 (1836).

Common name: Bitter melon, wild (or camel) melon.

Trailing or climbing annual herb; stems to 3 m long, villous or pilose; tendrils 2-4-branched, rarely simple; leaves with petioles 2-14 cm long, pilose; lamina ovate in outline, cordate, 3-20 x 3-15 cm, palmately 3-5-lobed; lobes ovate, sinuate-dentate to pinnately lobulate, emarginate to apiculate; on the upper surface scabrid, on the lower surface glabrescent.

Male flowers on peduncles 12-80 mm long; calyx lobes lanceolate, 3-5 mm long; corolla lobes ovate, 5-16 mm long; female flowers on peduncles 3-35 mm long; ovary 6-12 mm long.

Fruit 6-15 cm diam., glabrescent, green with paler irregular stripes; seeds 9-12 mm long, smooth or slightly rough, brown with darker markings.

Published illustration: Morley & Toelken (1983) Flowering plants in Australia, fig. 60a-c; Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 625.

Distribution:    All mainland States.   Native to tropical and southern Africa.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: No flowering time is available

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: Cultivated variant is the watermelon.

Author: Not yet available

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