Plants photographed elsewhere in Namibia (not on Kyffhäuser)
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Cucumis sagittatus Peyr.


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Cucumis sagittatus

Leaves and young fruit



Family: Curcurbitaceae
Full name: Cucumis sagittatus Peyr.
Location: Farm Urikos (2416AC)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Sierkomkommer
English common name(s): Goats apple, Decorative wild cucumber
Synonym(s): Cucumis angolensis Hook.f. ex Cogn.
Cucumis cogniauxianus Dinter ex Cogn. & Harms
Cucumis dinteri Cogn.
Status: Native
Description: An annual prostrate creeper. The leaves are relatively large and simple with palmate venation. They are cordate, with entire / sinuate margins, very rough with small prickles. There are also small prickles on the stems, as well as tendrils. Flowers are white/cream and trumpet-shaped. The fruits are like very small melons, dark green with lighter stripes when ripe, yellowing with age. They are covered in fine hairs which brush off quite easily. (from Namibrand website)

2 m, is a South African native with annual creeping to climbing vines with heartshaped leaves from a perennial rootstock and showy, small yellowish to orange, walnut-sized fruits (non-edible). (from www.rareplants.de)

Plants: Herbs, or subshrubs (decumbent to suberect); perennial; with a woody rootstock; lacking tubers; monoecious. Stems procumbent, or climbing (weakly); sulcate; not aculeate; shortly antrorse-strigose and pilose (both types of pubescence intermixed, or rarely not pilose); with nonbreakaway hairs. Stem hairs 0.2–0.7 mm long, or 1.2–1.6(–2.4) mm long. Nodes not geniculate. Internodes (1–)4–11 cm long. Petioles cylindrical; sulcate in cross section.
Leaves: Petioles 4–8.5 cm long (longer petioles found on herbaceous plants); not aculeate; pubescence 2 different types uniformly intermixed on each petiole; shortly antrorse-strigose and pilose (with the basal hair cells enlarged, both types of pubescence intermixed); with nonbreakaway hairs. Leaf blades entire, or pentalobate (weakly), or trilobate (only hastate leaves); with the margin serrate; very broadly ovate in outline; cordate at the base (deeply so), or hastate at the base; with a basal sinus; (0.5–)1.2–2 cm deep; broadly acute at the apex, or obtuse at the apex; (1.3–)4.5–10.5 cm long; (1.5–)5–11 cm wide; ca. 0.9 times longer than wide; hispidulous on the upper surface; not aculeate on the veins below; hispid on the veins below; hispidulous on the intervenium below, or hispid on the intervenium below (rarely); not ciliate on the margins; with nonbreakaway hairs. Central leaf-blade lobe symmetrical; entire; shallowly ovate in outline; broadly acute at the apex, or obtuse at the apex; (0.6–)1.5–2 cm long; (0.9–)2.5–4.5 cm wide. Lateral leaf-blade lobes assymmetrical; entire; shallowly ovate in outline, or narrowly elliptic in outline (only on hastate leaves); broadly acute at the apex; (0.3–)0.5–1(–2) cm long; (0.4–)1.5–2.5 cm wide (longest and narrowest lateral lobes on hastate leaves).
Tendrils: Present; solitary; simple; 2–7 cm long; not aculeate; antrorse-strigose.
Inflorescences: Unisexual.
Male inflorescences: Racemose, or fasciculate, or a solitary flower; 1–11-flowered; sessile.
Male flowers: Pedicellate. Pedicel terete in cross section; 6.4–8 mm long; shortly antrorse-strigose and pilose (both types of pubescence intermixed); without bracteoles. Hypanthium infundibular; 4–4.8 mm long; 3.2–4 mm in diam; hispidulous, or antrorse-strigose. Calyx lobes 5; linear in outline, or narrowly triangular in outline; narrowly acute at the apex; 1.2–2.8 mm long; 0.2–0.6 mm wide; hispidulous, or antrorse-strigose. Corolla infundibular; hispidulous outside, or puberulent outside; puberulent inside. Corolla tube 1.6–2.4 mm long; 4–5.6 mm in diam; hispidulous outside, or puberulent outside. Corolla lobes elliptic in outline; mucronate at the apex and obtuse at the apex; 4–7.2 mm long; 2.6–5.6 mm wide; hispidulous outside; puberulent inside. Stamens separating from the hypanthium 1.6–2 mm from the base of the hypanthium. Filaments terete in cross section; 0.4–0.8 mm long; 0.2–0.4 mm wide; glabrous. Anther thecae free; sigmoid; 2.4–2.6 mm long; puberulent. Anther connective extended; narrowly oblong, or obovate; unilobate, or bilobate; obtuse at apex; papillate at the apex; 1–1.6 mm long; 0.6–1.2 mm wide; glabrous. Disc cylindrical; ca 1.2 mm long; 1.6–1.9 mm in diam; glabrous.
Female inflorescences: A solitary flower; 1-x flowered; sessile.
Female flowers: Pedicellate. Pedicel terete in outline; 3.2–4.8 mm long; shortly antrorse-strigose and pilose (both types of pubescence intermixed); with nonbreakaway hairs; cylindrical. Hypanthium hour-glass shaped; not distinctly ridged. The lower 2/3s of hypanthium fused to the ovary. Fused portion of hypanthium ellipsoid; 5.6–6.4 mm long; ca 4 mm in diam; not tuberculate; not aculeate; lanate, or antrorse sericeous, or puberulent (densely, hairs 2–2.8, 0.6–1.2, or ca 0.1 mm long, respectively). The upper 1/3 of hypanthium free from the ovary. Free portion of hypanthium campanulate; 3.2–4 mm long; ca 2.8 mm in diam; not aculeate outside; hispid outside; puberulent inside. Calyx lobes 5; linear in outline; narrowly acute at the apex; 1.2–1.4(–3.2) mm long; ca 0.2 mm wide; hispid, or hispidulous. Corolla infundibular; hispid outside, or hispidulous outside; puberulent inside. Corolla tube present; 2.8–4 mm long; ca 4.8 mm in diam; hispidulous outside. Corolla lobes elliptic in outline to broadly elliptic in outline; mucronate at the apex and obtuse at the apex; 3.6–8 mm long; 3.2–5.6 mm wide; hispidulous outside, or hispid outside; puberulent inside. Staminodes present; separating from the free portion of the hypanthium 1.6–2 mm above the ovary; papilliform; 0.3–0.4 mm long; ca 0.2 mm in diam; glabrous. Style terete in cross section; ca 1.6 mm long; 0.3–0.6 mm in diam; glabrous; subtended by a circular disc. Disc 0.3–0.6 mm long; 1.2–1.9 mm in diam; glabrous. Stigma cupular; 2.2–2.4 mm long; ca 2 mm in diam; lobate; with 5 finger-like projections on the margin. Finger-like stigmatic projections 0.8–1.2 mm long; ca 0.6 mm in diam; papillate.
Fruit: Not geocarpic, maturing above ground and readily visible. Pedicel terete in cross section; 1–1.5 cm long; shortly antrorse-strigose and pilose (both types of pubescence intermixed, many hairs broken off); with nonbreakaway hairs; cylindrical. Fruit in southern part of its range monochromous, or bicolored with longitudinal stripes from base to apex (in northern part of its range); green, or yellow (pale, when ripe); with light green longitudinal stripes; globose; 2–2.5 cm long; 2–2.5 cm in diam; with the pericarp moderately to very thick; not tuberculate; not aculeate; pilose and hispidulous (both types of pubescence intermixed), or hirsute; blunt at the apex.
Seeds: Yellowish white; elliptic; 4.3–5 mm long; 2.1–2.4 mm wide; 0.9–1.1 mm thick; glabrous; smooth without evident surface sculpturing; emarginate; unwinged.
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iSpot:  153394 
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 30 Apr 2011
Camera make: Panasonic
Camera model: DMC-FZ45
Lens aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/500 s
ISO speed: 80
Content last updated: 01 Jul 2014


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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