Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai

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Citrullus lanatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Shashe Wilderness Camp, Shashe River (cultivated plant)

Citrullus lanatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near railway line by road to Hwange NP, Main Camp

Citrullus lanatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near railway line by road to Hwange NP, Main Camp

Citrullus lanatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near railway line by road to Hwange NP, Main Camp

Citrullus lanatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near railway line by road to Hwange NP, Main Camp

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Citrullus vulgaris Eckl. & Zeyh.
Colocynthis citrullus (L.) Kuntze
Cucurbita citrullus L.
Momordica lanata Thunb.
Common names: Water melon (English)
Frequency:
Status: Native and cultivated
Description:
Annual herb with prostrate of climbing stems up to 10 m long, covered in long spreading hairs, particularly when young. Tendrils2-3-fid. Leaves more or less narrowly ovate in outline, up to 20 × 19 cm, usually deeply palmately 3-5 lobed with lobes elliptic in outline and often lobed again; hairy when young, particularly on the veins beneath, becoming roughly punctate when oleder; margins almost entire or obscurely and finely sinuate-dentate. Flowers solitary, axillary, yellow, unisexual on the same plant. Fruit smooth, in wild plants 1.5-20 cm long, greenish with darker mottling; cultivated fruits much larger and often more elongated ellipsoid, up to 60 × 30 cm.
Notes: This is the well-known watermelon, popular in cultivation.
Derivation of specific name: lanatus: covered in soft, intertwined hairs, woolly or lanate.
Habitat: Wild plants occur in Kalaharisand areas in grassland and scrubland, often along watercourses.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1350 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Cultivated throughout the warmer regions of the world and sometimes adventive. Native to the Kalahari sand region, including Botswana, Zambia and Western Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 27 April 2012
Literature:

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 149.

Jeffrey, C. (1978). Cucurbitaceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 435 - 437. (Includes a picture).

Jeffrey, C. & Fernandes, R.B. (1986). 80. Cucurbitaceae Flora de Moçambique Pages 37 - 38.

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 161. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 38.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 44.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 558 - 559. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 52.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 205.

Van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. (1988). Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria Region Struik, Cape Town Pages 128 - 129. (Includes a picture).


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Other sources of information about Citrullus lanatus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Citrullus lanatus
Flora of Caprivi: Citrullus lanatus
Flora of Mozambique: Citrullus lanatus
Flora of Zambia: Citrullus lanatus
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Citrullus lanatus

External websites:

Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Citrullus lanatus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Citrullus lanatus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Citrullus lanatus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Citrullus lanatus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Citrullus lanatus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Citrullus lanatus
Ispot Southern Africa : Citrullus lanatus
JSTOR Plant Science: Citrullus lanatus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Citrullus lanatus
Tropicos: Citrullus lanatus
West African Plants database: Citrullus lanatus


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Citrullus lanatus.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=157250, retrieved 30 August 2016

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