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Useful Tropical Plants

Cucumis myriocarpus

Naudin

Cucurbitaceae

+ Synonyms

Cucumis africanus acutilobus Cogn.

Cucumis africanus myriocarpus (Naudin) Burtt Davy

Cucumis dissectifolius Naudin

Cucumis leptodermis Schweick.

Cucumis merxmuelleri Seuss.

Common Name:

Cucumis myriocarpus
Prickly fruited form
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Cucumis myriocarpus Cucumis myriocarpus Cucumis myriocarpus Cucumis myriocarpus

General Information

Cucumis myriocarpus is an annual, climbing plant with stems up to 2 metres long. The stems scramble over the ground or climb into the surrounding vegetation where they support themselves by means of tendrils[
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.
].
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine.

Known Hazards

The fruit is reported to be used medicinally, however overdosing and/or the inclusion of the seeds in the pulp have been blamed for fatal cases of poisoning[
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.
].
The plant is suspected of causing photosensitization in sheep and blindness in cattle. However, reports on medicinal use and toxicity of this plant are suspected of wrong identification, and may refer to other species[
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.
].

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.

Range

Eastern and southern Africa - Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, S. Africa and Lesotho.

Habitat

Open localities in grassland and wooded grassland, especially on sandy soils at elevations from 350 - 2,000 metres. It is frequently found as a weed of cultivated land and irrigation furrows[
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

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual Climber
Height1.50 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



The plant has escaped from cultivation and become naturalized in southern Europe, California and Australia. Locally it is considered a weed; in California it has been declared noxious[
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.
]. In southern Africa it is an important weed in maize fields and the poisoning of cattle grazing the stubble of weedy fields is a serious risk. However, as a weed it can easily be controlled mechanically[
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.
].
This species can hybridize with several other members of the genus - those that are most closely related to the gherkin, Cucumis anguria[
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 - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
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.
].

Medicinal

The fruit pulp is used as an emetic and purgative[
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.
]. Some caution is advised - see notes above on toxicity.

The fresh fruits contain cucurbitacins A and D. Cucurbitacins, which are also known from many other species in the family Cucurbitaceae as well as various other plant species. These cucurbitacins 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

The plant is a promising source of disease and pest resistance for economically important Cucumis species[
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.
].

Propagation

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

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