Cucumis gossweileri Norman
Cucumis homblei De Wild. ex Cogn.
Cucumis seretii De Wild.
Cucumis seretioides Suess.
Cucumis sonderi Cogn.
Cucumis welwitschii Cogn.
Cucumis wildemanianus Cogn.
Cucumis hirsutus is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing stems up to 2.5 metres long that become thickened and woody at their base. These stems scramble over the ground, climbing into the surrounding vegetation and supporting themselves by means of tendrils.
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine.
The plant is considered to be poisonous in S. Africa.
Africa - Cameroon, Sudan, Kenya, south to Angola, Zambia, Botswana, S. Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Woodland, wooded grassland and grassland, and as a weed on formerly cultivated ground, at elevations up to 2,500 metres[
Often found in sandy soils in the wild[
]. Prefers a well-drained soil[
This species does not hybridize with other members of the genus[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
Leaves - sliced then cooked and eaten in the same way as pumpkin leaves[
Fruit - raw. An acid flavour[
]. Not much appreciated[
]. The ovoid fruits are about 4cm in diameter[
A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of chronic cough[
Several cucurbitacins have been isolated from the roots of the plant. Cucurbitacins, which are known from many species in the family Cucurbitaceae, as well as in various other plant species, exhibit cytotoxicity (including antitumor activity), anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities[
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