Plants photographed elsewhere in Namibia (not on Kyffhäuser)
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Citrullus amarus Schrad.

Citrullus amarus


Family: Cucurbitaceae
Full name: Citrullus amarus Schrad.
Location: Farm Neuras (2416AC)
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 lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai
Anguria citrullus Mill.
Citrullus amarus Schrad.
Citrullus anguria (Duchesne) H.Hara
Citrullus aquosus Schur
Citrullus battich Forssk.
Citrullus caffer Schrad.
Citrullus caffrorum Schrad.
Citrullus chodospermus Falc. & Dunal
Citrullus citrullus H.Karst.
Citrullus citrullus Small
Citrullus colocynthis var. capensis Alef.
Citrullus colocynthis var. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai
Citrullus edulis Spach
Citrullus edulis Pangalo [Illegitimate]
Citrullus lanatus var. albidus (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus f. amarus (Schrad.) Wilde & Duyfjes
Citrullus lanatus var. caffer (Schrad.) Mansf. ex Fursa
Citrullus lanatus var. caffrorum (Alef.) Fosberg
Citrullus lanatus var. capensis (Alef.) Fursa
Citrullus lanatus subsp. cordophanus Ter-Avan.
Citrullus lanatus var. cordophanus (Ter-Avan.) Fursa
Citrullus lanatus var. fistulosus (Steward) Babu
Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus
Citrullus lanatus var. minor (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus subsp. mucosospermus Fursa
Citrullus lanatus f. nigroseminius (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus var. oblongus (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus var. pulcherrimus (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus var. pumilus (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus var. rotundus (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus var. senegalicus Fursa
Citrullus lanatus var. shami (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus var. variegatus (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus var. virgatus (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus lanatus var. viridis (Chakrav.) Maheshw.
Citrullus mucosospermus (Fursa) Fursa
Citrullus mucosospermus var. senegalicus (Fursa) Fursa
Citrullus pasteca Sageret
Citrullus vulgaris Schrad.
Citrullus vulgaris var. caffrorum Alef.
Citrullus vulgaris var. fistulosus Steward
Colocynthis amarissima Schrad. [Invalid]
Colocynthis amarissima Schltdl.
Colocynthis citrullus (L.) Kuntze
Colocynthis citrullus Fritsch
Cucumis amarissimus Schrad.
Cucumis citrullus (L.) Ser.
Cucumis citrullus var. jace Ser.
Cucumis citrullus var. pasteca Ser.
Cucumis dissectus Decne.
Cucumis edulis Steud. [Invalid]
Cucumis laciniosus Eckl. ex Steud.
Cucumis laciniosus Eckl. ex Schrad.
Cucumis vulgaris (Schrad.) E.H.L.Krause
Cucurbita anguria Duchesne
Cucurbita caffra Eckl. & Zeyh.
Cucurbita citrullus L.
Cucurbita gigantea Salisb.
Cucurbita pinnatifida Schrank
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
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 15 Dec 2018
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: EOS 7D Mark II
Lens aperture: f/9.0
Shutter speed: 1/100 s
ISO speed: 200
Content last updated: 18 Apr 2024

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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Last updated 18 Apr 2024

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