Cucumis hirsutus Sond.

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Cucumis hirsutus

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road from Hwange NP to main Vic Falls / Bulawayo Rd, Matetsi Safari Area

Cucumis hirsutus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road to Kariba Heights

Cucumis hirsutus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road to Kariba Heights

Cucumis hirsutus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road to Kariba Heights

Cucumis hirsutus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Umguza Nature Reserve, Bulawayo

Cucumis hirsutus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Umguza Nature Reserve, Bulawayo

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

Synonyms: Cucumis seretioides Suesseng.
Cucumis sonderi Cogn.
Cucumis welwitschii Cogn.
Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial prostrate creeper or climber with simple tendrils, growing from a fibrous, woody rootstock. Stems up to 2.5 m long, with more or less dense spreading stiff hairs, often thickened and woody at the base. Leaves up to 15 cm long, ovate, triangular, elliptic or oblong-lanceolate in outline, often at least twice as long as wide, unlobed or shallowly 3(5) lobed, usually densely covered in stiff hairs on both surfaces; margins finely to coarsely sinuate-serrate; petiole 0.5-5.5 cm long. Flowers unisexual on different plants, white, cream, pale yellow or yellow. Male flowers in 2-12-flowered axillary clusters. Female flowers solitary or paired, larger than male. Fruit globose to oblong-ellipsoid, up to 7 × 6 cm, smooth, rounded at the ends, striped light and dark green, becoming yellow to brownish-orange when ripe.
Derivation of specific name: hirsutus: covered with long, moderately stiff and not interwoven hairs; hirsute
Habitat: In grassland, wooded grassland and woodland.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 2500 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread from Cameroon to East Africa and south to Southern Cape, South Africa.
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: Monday 15 February 2016

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 135. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 11.

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 51.

Jeffrey, C. (1978). Cucurbitaceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 469 - 470.

Jeffrey, C. & Fernandes, R.B. (1986). 80. Cucurbitaceae Flora de Moçambique Junta de Investigaçoes de Ultramar, Centro de Botanica Pages 78 - 81. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 165. (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 45.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 308 - 309. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 53.

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 Cucumis hirsutus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cucumis hirsutus
Flora of Malawi: Cucumis hirsutus
Flora of Mozambique: Cucumis hirsutus
Flora of Zambia: Cucumis hirsutus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cucumis hirsutus
African Plant Database: Cucumis hirsutus
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Cucumis hirsutus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cucumis hirsutus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cucumis hirsutus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Cucumis hirsutus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Cucumis hirsutus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cucumis hirsutus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Cucumis hirsutus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cucumis hirsutus
Ispot Southern Africa: Cucumis hirsutus
JSTOR Plant Science: Cucumis hirsutus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Cucumis hirsutus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cucumis hirsutus
The Plant List (version 1.1): Cucumis hirsutus
Tropicos: Cucumis hirsutus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-18

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2018). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Cucumis hirsutus., retrieved 21 February 2018

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