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Genus Citrullus Family Cucurbitaceae

Description: Annual or tuberous-rooted perennial herbs; monoecious.

Leaves usually deeply and ± pinnately lobed. Tendrils simple or branched. Male and female flowers solitary. Hypanthium short. Corolla deeply 5-lobed, yellow. Stamens inserted towards base of hypanthium, connective broad, anthers 3, two 2-locular, one 1- locular; loculi flexuous; disc absent. Female flowers with 3 staminodes. Ovary hairy, ovules many.

Fruit subglobose, greenish, fleshy; seeds many, ovate, ± smooth, c. 10 mm long.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: 3 species, Africa & Asia. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), all mainland States.

Forms of C. lanatus var. lanatus are widely cultivated, especially watermelons.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves glabrescent on upper surface, scabrous below; stems with soft, spreading hairs; tendrils mostly 2-branchedCitrullus lanatus
Leaves scabrous on both surfaces; stems retrorsely scabrous; tendrils mostly simple, sometimes 2-branchedCitrullus colocynthis

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