Melothria pendula L.

Etymology Genus After the Greek name for Bryony
Species Hanging; probably referring to the fruits
Family Cucurbitaceae
Synonyms Apodanthera gracilis Benth., Bryonia convolvulifolia Schltdl.
Common Names Creeping Cucumber, Guadeloupe Cucumber
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Climber
Native Distribution Throughout America (from USA to Argentina)

Diagnostics:

Melothria pendula is a very common sun-loving climber. The leaf margins have sparsely lined with teeth, and are gently concaved. Unlike another similar species Coccinia grandis, the leaves of M. pendula, while variable, are always one-lobed. The yellow flowers are also very minute (about 0.5cm).


Interesting Facts:

From its native habitat in America, the Creeping Cucumber have escaped and naturalised throughout tropical Asia, and Africa (de Wilde & Duyfjes, 2010).


The Creeping Cucumber climbing over a shrub at the fringes of a nature reserve.

Note the sparsely toothed margins of the leaf.

Tendrils are coiling.

The yellow flowers are very tiny,

Fruit are small, about 1.5cm long.

The seeds.

References

De Wilde WJJO & BEE Duyfjes. (2010) Cucurbitaceae. Flora Malesiana, 19: 1-342.


Author: Jake
Posted: 2012-07-31 / Modified: 2019-08-27