Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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  Home   >   Flora   >   List of families   >   List of genera   >   List of species   >   Curcurbitaceae / Citrullus lanatus

Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai

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Citrullus lanatus

Image 1
24 Sep 2008

Citrullus lanatus

Image 2
13 Dec 2008

Citrullus lanatus

Image 3
16 Dec 2008

Citrullus lanatus

Image 4
Young plant
23 Mar 2008

Citrullus lanatus

Image 5
23 Mar 2008

Family: Curcurbitaceae
Full name: Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Tsamma, Tsama, Karkoer, Bitterwaatlemoen
English common name(s): Tsamma melon, Wild watermelon, Water melon
Synonym(s): Citrullus vulgaris Eckl. & Zeyh.
Colocynthis citrullus (L.) Kuntze
Cucumis vulgaris E.H.L.Krause
Cucurbita citrullus L.
Momordica lanata Thunb.
Status: Native
Description: Annual herb. Stems prostrate or scandent to 10 m, villous, glabrescent. Tendrils 2–3-fid. Leaf-lamina 5–20 x 3.5–19 cm, ovate or narrowly ovate in outline, cordate, hairy (especially on the veins beneath), becoming scabrid-punctate, usually deeply palmately 3–5-lobed, the lobes elliptic in outline, shallowly to usually deeply pinnately lobulate, subentire or obscurely sinuate-denticulate, rounded to subacute, apiculate, the central much the largest. Petioles 2–18.5 cm long, hairy or villous, sometimes scabrescent. Probracts 4–18 mm long, obovate-spathulate. Male flowers on villous 12–45 mm long pedicels; receptacle-tube 2.5–5 mm long, pale green, lobes 2.5–5 mm long, lanceolate. Petals 0.7–1.9 x 0.4–1.4 cm, obovate, rounded, apiculate. Female flowers on 3–45 mm long pedicels; ovary 6–15 x 4–8 mm, ellipsoid or subglobose, villous; receptacle-tube 1.5–2 mm long, lobes 2.5–5.5 mm long; corolla as in male flowers. Fruit of wild plants 1.5–20 cm in diameter, subglobose, greenish mottled with darker green, of cultivated plants up to 60 x 30 cm, subglobose or ellipsoid, green or yellowish, concolorous or variously mottled or striped; fruit-stalk 2–5 cm long. Seeds c. 9–11 x 5–6 x 2.5–2.7 mm, ovate-elliptic in outline, smooth or slightly verrucose, dark or pale coloured, often mottled, sometimes bordered. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Zambesiaca)

Annual climber or trailer to 3 m; stems herbaceous, rather softly long-hairy. Leaf-blade ovate or elongated-ovate in outline, long-hairy on the nerves especially beneath, otherwise smooth, becoming scabrid-punctate especially beneath, membranous, 58–202 mm long, 36–190 mm broad, usually palmately deeply 3–5(–7)-lobed; lobes elongated-ovate in outline, pinnately sinuate-lobulate, rarely subentire, shallowly and obscurely sinuate-toothed, with the central lobe much the largest, obtuse to emarginate and apiculate; petiole long-hairy, 21–140 mm long. Tendrils bifid, rarely simple or (in extra-African forms) 3–4-fid. Probract obovate-spathulate, hooded, 4–8 mm long. Male flowers on 12–40 mm long pedicels; receptacle-tube pale green, 3–4 mm long; lobes lanceolate, 3–5 mm long; petals yellow, 7–16 mm long and 5–10 mm broad, united below. Female flowers on 3–35 mm long pedicels; ovary ellipsoid or subglobose, hairy, 6–12 mm long, 5–8 mm across; receptacle-tube 1.5–2 mm long, lobes 3.5–4 mm long; petals ±11 mm long and 5 mm broad. Fruit on a 20–40 mm long stalk, ellipsoid or subspherical, 130–300 mm or more in diameter, hairy, green mottled with paler green or yellowish in irregular longitudinal stripes or concolorous, terete or slightly ribbed, firm-walled, fleshy, indehiscent. Seeds ovate in outline, ±10 x 5 x 2.5 mm, sometimes smaller or more often rather larger, smooth or slightly verrucose, not or sometimes distinctly bordered. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Tropical East Africa)

Annual usually trailing herb. Leaf-blade ovate or narrowly ovate in outline, rather villous especially on veins beneath, scabrid-punctate when old, 5–20 x 3.5–19 cm, usually deeply palmately 3–5-lobed, the lobes usually deeply pinnately lobulate; petioles 2–18.5 cm long, villous. Tendrils usually bifid. Male flowers solitary. Pedicel 14–45 mm long. Hypanthium broadly obconic, 2.5–5 mm long. Sepals lanceolate, 2.5–5.5 mm long. Petals yellow, obovate, 7–19 mm long. Female flowers solitary. Pedicel 3–45 mm long. Ovary ellipsoid to subglobose, villous, 6–15 mm long. Hypanthium 1.5–2 mm long. Perianth as in male flowers. Fruit subglobose to ellipsoid, green or yellowish, often mottled or striped, up to 60 x 30 cm. Flesh white or red, watery, usually not bitter. Pedicel 2–5 cm long. Seeds ovate in outline, variously coloured, sometimes mottled, smooth or slightly rough, 9–11 x 5–6 x 2.5–2.7 mm. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Somalia)

Annual herb with prostrate of climbing stems up to 10 m long, covered in long spreading hairs, particularly when young. Tendrils 2-3-fid. Leaves more or less narrowly ovate in outline, up to 20 × 19 cm, usually deeply palmately 3-5 lobed with lobes elliptic in outline and often lobed again; hairy when young, particularly on the veins beneath, becoming roughly punctate when older; margins almost entire or obscurely and finely sinuate-dentate. Flowers solitary, axillary, yellow, unisexual on the same plant. Fruit smooth, in wild plants 1.5-20 cm long, greenish with darker mottling; cultivated fruits much larger and often more elongated ellipsoid, up to 60 × 30 cm. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iSpot:  153367  208151  208152 
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 21 Mar 2018

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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