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Citrullus colocynthis

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Photo by Rob and Fiona Richardson, Lucidcentral.org.


The female flower by Rob and Fiona Richardson, Lucidcentral.org.


Two young roots by Apostolou Stavros, Public.fotki.com.


Male flower from Philou.i234.me.


A whole plant by Leif & Anita Stridvall, Biolib.cz.

Author: 

Heinrich Adolph Schrader, 1838

Family: 

CUCURBITACEAE

Origin: 

Afghanistan, Algeria, Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Chad, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Greece, Gulf States, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sicilia, Sinai, Socotra, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Western Sahara, Yemen

Soil: 

Sandy

Water: 

Minimum - Medium

Sun: 

Maximum

Thickness: 

6 Centimetres

Height: 

2-3 Metres

Flower: 

Yellow

Propagate: 

Seeds

Names: 

Colocynth, Bitter Apple, Bitter Cucumber, Egusi, Vine of Sodom, Wild Gourd, Camel Melon

Synonyms: 

Cucumis colocynthis, L. 1753.
Colocynthis vulgaris, Schrad. 1833.
Citrullus colocynthis subsp. insipidus.  Fursa.
Citrullus colocynthis
subsp. stenotomus, Fursa.
Citrullus colocynthoides,
Pangalo
Citrullus pseudocolocynthis,
M.Roem.
Colocynthis officinalis,
Schrad.
Cucumis bipinnatifidus,
Wight ex Naudin.
Cucumis colocynthoides,
Pi.Savi.
Cucurbita colocyntha,
Link.

This monoecious member of the Cucurbitaceae family was given this name by Heinrich Adolph Schrader in 1838. It is found in pretty much all over the southern Europe and Northern Africa along with south-western Asia, as it is/was grown as a crop. It is preferring a well drained sandy soil, but not that picky, with little to some water and lots of sun. The caudex can grow to six centimetres in diameter, the entire plant to two or three centimetres in length. The flowers are yellow.

The genera name from Medieval Latin citrullus, citrolus, a kind of cucumber, from (assumed) Old Italian dialect citrulo (Italian cetriolo), from (assumed) Vulgar Latin citriolum, from Late Latin citrium, a kind of cucumber, from Latin, citron, from citrus. The species name from Greek; kolokynthe, the vernacular name for the cucurbitaceous plant.


Habitat by JT Overgaard, Biopix.dk.