If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Cucumis hirsutus

Sond.

Cucurbitaceae

+ Synonyms

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.

Common Name:

Cucumis hirsutus

General Information

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.

Known Hazards

The plant is considered to be poisonous in S. Africa.

Botanical References

308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
,
515
Title
Flora of Tropical Africa Vol 1 - 8
Publication
 
Author
Var
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
L.Reeve & Co.; Ashford, Kent.
Year
1868 - 1917
ISBN
 
Description
Very little information on habitat, range and uses, but gives good descriptions of the plants. It can be downloaded from the internet.

Range

Africa - Cameroon, Sudan, Kenya, south to Angola, Zambia, Botswana, S. Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar.

Habitat

Woodland, wooded grassland and grassland, and as a weed on formerly cultivated ground, at elevations up to 2,500 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitPerennial Climber
Height2.00 m
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Often found in sandy soils in the wild[
515
Title
Flora of Tropical Africa Vol 1 - 8
Publication
 
Author
Var
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
L.Reeve & Co.; Ashford, Kent.
Year
1868 - 1917
ISBN
 
Description
Very little information on habitat, range and uses, but gives good descriptions of the plants. It can be downloaded from the internet.
]. Prefers a well-drained soil[
385
Title
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An internet site giving information on caudiciform plants (plants with swollen stem bases such as the Baobab tree, cycads and many succulents). Excellent photos, usually of cultivated plants in pots.
].
This species does not hybridize with other members of the genus[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - sliced then cooked and eaten in the same way as pumpkin leaves[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Fruit - raw. An acid flavour[
515
Title
Flora of Tropical Africa Vol 1 - 8
Publication
 
Author
Var
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
L.Reeve & Co.; Ashford, Kent.
Year
1868 - 1917
ISBN
 
Description
Very little information on habitat, range and uses, but gives good descriptions of the plants. It can be downloaded from the internet.
]. Not much appreciated[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
466
Title
Useful Plants of Nyasaland
Publication
 
Author
Williamson J.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland.
Year
1955
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details of the uses of almost 500 species of plants.
]. The ovoid fruits are about 4cm in diameter[
466
Title
Useful Plants of Nyasaland
Publication
 
Author
Williamson J.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland.
Year
1955
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details of the uses of almost 500 species of plants.
].

Medicinal

A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of chronic cough[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

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[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2020-08-08. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Cucumis+hirsutus>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.