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Useful Tropical Plants

Cucumis dipsaceus

Ehrenb. ex Spach

Cucurbitaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Hedgehog Cucumber

Cucumis dipsaceus
Fruit and leaves
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Cucumis dipsaceus Cucumis dipsaceus Cucumis dipsaceus Cucumis dipsaceus Cucumis dipsaceus

General Information

Hedgehog cucumber is a fibrous-rooted annual plant producing stems up to 2 metres long that scramble over the ground or climb into other plants, supporting themselves by means of tendrils[
648
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Vol. 51
Publication
 
Author
Acevedo-Rodríguez P. (Editor)
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington.
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A treatment of the climbing plants of Puerto Rico. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild as a local source of food and medicine. It is sold in local markets[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

500
Title
Flora of Somalia
Publication
 
Author
Thulin M. (Editor)
Publisher
Kew Publishing, London.
Year
1993
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the plants of the region, often adding notes on the plants uses.

Range

East tropical Africa - Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania; Arabian Peninsula - Yemen.

Habitat

Deciduous Acacia woodland, wooded grassland and Acacia- Commiphora bushland, also in cultivated places; at elevations from 20 - 2,000 metres[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitAnnual Climber
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of drier areas in the lowland tropics, ascending to elevations up to 2,000 metres.
Prefers a sunny position in a well-drained soil.
The plant has become widely naturalized in the tropics and is considered to be invasive in some areas[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Edible Uses

Seeds - cooked[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The pale brown seeds are 3 - 5mm long[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Leaves[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The tender leaves and young shoots are chopped, cooked, coconut milk or groundnut paste is added and the dish is served with a staple[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
]. The tender leaves can also be dried in the sun and then pounded into powder. The powder is then soaked in hot water, boiled and stirred. The vegetable is then ready for eating with a staple[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

Fruit[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The yellow, subglobose to ellipsoid fruit is densely and softly spiny or bristly, about 20 - 70mm long and 15 - 35mm in diameter[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Medicinal

Leaves and roots are pounded and used as a poultice to treat wounds[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

The juice from the fruits is used as an antidote for poisoning, but it has to be supplemented by drinking fresh milk[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -

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