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.
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
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves glabrescent on upper surface, scabrous below; stems with soft, spreading hairs; tendrils mostly 2-branched||Citrullus lanatus|
|Leaves scabrous on both surfaces; stems retrorsely scabrous; tendrils mostly simple, sometimes 2-branched||Citrullus colocynthis|