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Citrullus lanatus

Description from Flora of China

Momordica lanata Thunberg, Prodr. Pl. Cap. 13. 1794; Citrullus colocynthis Schrader var. lanatus (Thunberg) Matsumura & Nakai; C. edulis Spach; C. vulgaris Schrader ex Ecklon & Zeyher; Colocynthis citrullus (Linnaeus) Kuntze; Cucumis citrullus (Linnaeus) Seringe; Cucurbita citrullus Linnaeus.

Plants annual. Stem and branches robust, sulcate-angular, villous. Tendrils puberulent, 2-fid. Petiole 3-12 cm, densely pubescent; leaf blade white-green, triangulate-ovate, 8-20 × 5-15 cm, both surfaces hispid, 3-partite; segments lobulate, base cordate, sinus semicircular, apex acute or acuminate. Flowers solitary. Male flowers: pedicel 3-4 cm, villous; calyx tube densely villous; segments narrowly lanceolate, 2-3 mm; corolla pale yellow, 2.5-3 cm in diam.; segments ovate-oblong, 1-1.5 × 0.5-0.8 cm; stamens nearly free. Female flowers: calyx and corolla as in male flowers; ovary 5-8 mm, densely villous; stigmas 3, reniform. Fruit globose or oblong, smooth. Seeds numerous, color various, ovate, 1-1.5 × 0.5-0.8 cm. Fl. and fr. Apr-Oct.

The fruit are important "water fruit" in summer; the seeds contain edible oil; the fruit coat is used medicinally.

Commonly cultivated in China [native to S Africa; cultivated in all warmer areas of the world].


 

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