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Acanthosicyos naudinianus

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Photo from FAO.org.


The caudex by Roger and Alison Heath, Plantsoftheworldonline.org.

Author:  Charles Jeffrey, 1962
Family:  CUCURBITACEAE
Origin:  Southern Africa
Soil:  Sand-Mix
Water:  Medium
Sun:  Medium-Maximum
Thickness:  15 centimetres, 1 Meter long
Height:  6 meters
Flower:  Yellow
Propagate:  Seeds/Roots
Names:  Gemsbok Cucumber, Herero Cucumber
Synonyms:  Citrullus naudinianus, Hooker. Colocynthis naudinianus  Kuntze. Cucumis naudinianus Sond. (A. naudiniana?)

This member of the Cucurbitaceae family was given this name by Charles Jeffrey in 1962. It is found in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana, growing in deep sandy or other well drained soil in wood- and grassland. It doesn't need much water but some to lots of sun. The 15 centimetre thick root will grow to one meter in length, the vines reach for up to six meters. Both the male and the female flowers are yellow, and the plant can only be reproduced by seeds and rood cuttings. The spiked fruits are six to twelve centimetres long and pale yellow when ripen.

The genera name means 'thorny cucumber'. The species is named after Charles Naudin, 1815-1899, a a French naturalist and botanist.


The fruit by Bernard Dupont; Flickr.com/people/berniedup.