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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 19 | Cucurbitaceae | Cucumis

1. Cucumis melo Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1011. 1753.

甜瓜 tian gua

Plants creeping. Stems and branches scabrous, puberulent, or hispid. Tendrils filiform, puberulent. Petiole 7-12 cm, setose; leaf blade suborbicular or reniform, 6-15 × 6-15 cm, papery, abaxially hispid, adaxially scabrous, undivided or 3-7-lobed, dentate; sinus truncate or rounded. Plants monoecious or flowers bisexual. Male flowers 1 or 2 to several, fasciculate; pedicels filiform, 0.5-4 cm, pubescent; calyx tube narrowly campanulate, 3-8 mm, densely hispidulous to white villous; segments subulate or linear, 2-4 × 0.4-1.2 mm; corolla yellow; tube 1-2 mm; segments ovate-oblong to broadly ovate or obovate, 3-24 × 2.5-20 mm, obtuse; anther cells flexuous. Female flowers solitary; ovary ellipsoid or fusiform, 4-11 × 2-5 mm, densely white lanate, villous or puberulent; style 1-2 mm; stigmas 3, 2-2.5 mm. Fruit very variable in size, shape, color, odor, and taste. Seeds numerous, yellow-white, ovate-oblong, 4-8 × 2.4-4 mm, smooth, base rounded, apex acute, emarginate. Fl. and fr. May-Sep.

Farmlands, roadsides. Anhui, Jiangsu, Shandong, Xinjiang, C and E China; also cultivated throughout China [native to Old World tropics and subtropics; introduced in New World tropics; widely cultivated in tropical and temperate countries].


1 Ovary densely villous or white lanate, with spreading hairs; (cultivated) fruit sweet.   1a subsp. melo
+ Ovary very shortly and densely puberulent, hairs appressed; (cultivated) fruit not sweet.   1b subsp. agrestis

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