1. Family: Cucurbitaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Cucumis L.
      1. Cucumis metulifer E.Mey. ex Naudin

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa, SW. Arabian Peninsula.

    [FWTA]

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

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

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

    Habit
    Annual climbing or trailing herb; stem hispid with spreading hairs.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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
    [FZ]

    Cucurbitaceae, C. Jeffrey. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978

    Habit
    Annual; stems prostrate or scandent, to 5 m., strongly patent-setose.
    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.
    Petiole
    Petiole 2–11·5 cm. long, strongly patent-setulose.
    Flowers
    Flowers monoecious. 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. 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
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Chad, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Gulf of Guinea Is., Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Alabama, Florida, Queensland, Venezuela

    Common Names

    English
    Bitter wild cucumber, Horned cucumber, Jelly melon

    Cucumis metulifer E.Mey. ex Naudin appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    May 1, 2002 Alison [66], Botswana K000809268
    May 1, 2001 Alison [655], Botswana K000809267
    Jan 1, 1996 Carvalho [4060], Equatorial Guinea K000731910
    Jan 1, 1995 Carvalho [4060], Equatorial Guinea K000731909
    Jan 1, 1973 Brummitt, R.K. [10300], Malawi K000809266
    Tanzania 32842.000
    Milne-Redhead, E. [11224], Tanzania 18786.000
    Milne-Redhead, E. [11302A], Tanzania 4629.000
    Tweedie, E.M. [2037], Kenya 1719.000
    Tweedie [2067], Kenya 8084.000
    Hemming, C.F. [2011], Somalia 8083.000
    Renvoize, S.A. [2140], Tanzania 64031.000
    Kerfoot, O. [3604], Uganda 6934.000
    Kolberg, H. [589], Namibia K000809279
    Hobson, S.R. [2045], Swaziland K000809278

    First published in Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 4, 11: 10 (1859)

    Accepted by

    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2015). Flora of North America North of Mexico 6: 1-468. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Figueiredo, E., Paiva, J., Stévart, T., Oliveira, F. & Smith, G.F. (2011). Annotated catalogue of the flowering plants of São Tomé and Príncipe Bothalia, A Journal of Botanical Research 41: 41-82.
    • Kral, R., Diamond, A.R., Ginzbarg, S.L., Hansen, C.J., Haynes, R.R., Keener, B.R., Lelong, M.G., Spaulding, D.D. & Woods, M. (2011). Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Alabama: 1-112. Botanical reseach institute of Texas.
    • Lejoy, J., Ndjele, M.-B. & Geerinck, D. (2010). Catalogue-flore des plantes vasculaires des districts de Kisangani et de la Tshopo (RD Congo) Taxonomania 30: 1-307.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
    • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
    • Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Edwards, S., Tadesse, M. & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 2(2): 1-456. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (1993). Flora of Somalia 1: 1-493. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Launert, E. (ed.) (1978). Flora Zambesiaca 4: 1-658. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976). Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger: 1-433. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Keraudren-Aymonin, M. (1975). Flore d'Afrique Centrale (Zaire-rwanda-Burundi), Cucurbitaceae: 1-152. Jardin Botanique National de Belgique.
    • Lebrun, J.-P., Audru, J., Gaston, A. & Mosnier, M. (1972). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Tchad Méridional: 1-289. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Jeffrey, C. (1967). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Cucurbitaceae: 1-156.
    • Hutchinson, J., Dalziel, J.M. & Keay, R.W.J. (1954-1958). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 1-828.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Cogn. & Harms in Engl. Pflanzenr. Cucurbit. 2: 146
    • Chev. Bot. 292.
    • —F.T.A. 2: 543
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2015). Flora of North America North of Mexico 6: 1-468. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Figueiredo, E., Paiva, J., Stévart, T., Oliveira, F. & Smith, G.F. (2011). Annotated catalogue of the flowering plants of São Tomé and Príncipe Bothalia, A Journal of Botanical Research 41: 41-82.
    • Kral, R., Diamond, A.R., Ginzbarg, S.L., Hansen, C.J., Haynes, R.R., Keener, B.R., Lelong, M.G., Spaulding, D.D. & Woods, M. (2011). Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Alabama: 1-112. Botanical reseach institute of Texas.
    • Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
    • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (1993). Flora of Somalia 1: 1-493. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976). Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger: 1-433. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Lebrun, J.-P., Audru, J., Gaston, A. & Mosnier, M. (1972). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Tchad Méridional: 1-289. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Hutchinson, J., Dalziel, J.M. & Keay, R.W.J. (1954-1958). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 1-828.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • A. Meeuse in Bothalia 8: 68 (1962).
    • R. & A. Fernandes in Mem. Junta Invest. Ultram., sér. 2, 34: 94 (1962).
    • Keay, Flora of West Tropical Africa ed. 2, 1: 213 (1954).
    • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 1: 172 (1950).
    • Exell, Cat. Vase. Pl. S. Tomé: 186 (1944).
    • Hutch. & Dalz., Flora of West Tropical Africa 1: 182 (1927)
    • Burtt Davy, Man. Fl. Pl. Ferns Transv. 1: 228 (1926).
    • Stuhlmann in Deutsch Ost-Afrika 10: 137 (1909).
    • Hiern, Cat. Welw. Afr. Pl. 2: 397 (1898).
    • Hook. f. in Flora of Tropical Africa 2: 543 (1871).
    • Sonder in Fl. Cap. 2: 495 (1862).
    • Naud. in Ann. Sc. Nat., sér. 4, 11: 10 (1859).

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    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
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    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/