Common name: African Horned Cucumber, Kiwano Melon
Cucumis metuliferus Naudin APNI*
Description: Trailing or climbing vine; stems hispid with spreading hairs.
Leaves hispid hairy especially below, broadly ovate-cordate, apex acute or sometimes rounded, 3 -9 cm long, 4–10 cm wide; margin toothed; petiole 3–10 cm long.
Male flowers 1–4 together, groups sessile or pedunculate; peduncles 2–6 cm long. Female flowers with ovary with large bristle tipped spines.
Fruit ellipsoid-cylindrical, grey-green becoming yellow-orange when ripe, 6 -11 cm long. with broad-based fleshy spines each tipped with broad-based bristle.
Flowering: Flowers Spring – Summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Naturalised NC; Queensland.
Found beside habitation where rubbish may have been dumped. North Coast specimen is from beside a sewerage works.
NSW subdivisions: *NC
Other Australian states: *Qld
Native of Tropical Africa, *Cucumus metuliferous Naudin is known from one collection from Coffs Harbour (NC), it does not appear to be fully naturalized. It has cordate leaves 7–10 cm long, 5–9 cm wide; fruit with spines, c. 6 cm diam. This species is naturalized in Qld.
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Flora SE Queensland Vol.2.
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.