Acanthosicyos horridus Welw. ex Hook.f.
  • Gen. Pl.


Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2021): Acanthosicyos horridus Welw. ex Hook.f. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-0000513768. Accessed on: 18 Sep 2021'

Diagnostic Description

Shrubby growth, absence of tendrils, xerophytic habit (spines, reduced leaves, leathery perianth).

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Morphology

    Shrubby, 0.5-1 m tall, forming dense and large bushes on small dunes which the plant builds up itself. Rootstock woody. Stems robust, terete, pale yellowish or glaucous to greyish green, sulcate; twigs subvirgate, pubescent in the youngest parts, the floriferous ones subtomentose. Spines terete, straight or nearly so, 2-3 cm long, glabrous. Male flowers greyish-tomentose outside; sepals ovate to suborbicular-obcordate, 4-6 mm long; petals furfuraceous inside, 10-12 mm long, pale yellow. Female flowers: peduncle in fruit incrassate, ultimately attaining a length of about 1 cm; staminodes erect, linear, dilated near the apex, 5-7 mm long; ovary 15-17 mm long, densely covered with puberulous oblong-conical soft 2-2.5 mm long spines; style 9-10 mm long, stigma 6-7 mm wide. Fruit pale orange-yellow when ripe, with orange-yellow pulp, up to about 20 cm in diam. Seeds nearly white, sub-obliquely truncate near the base, 14-15 mm long, 9-11 mm wide, 6-7 mm thick.

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Monoecious, deep-rooted, pungent, much-branched shrub, up to 1 m tall, with leafless often longitudinally grooved stems bearing paired spines at nodes, without tendrils. Male flowers solitary or clustered, 10-12 mm long, pale yellow. Female flowers solitary in spine axils, 10-12 mm long, pale yellow with green venation, with greyish hairs outside. Fruit ± spherical, ± 200 mm diam., pale orange-yellow when ripe, with spine/bristle-tipped fleshy conical protuberances, edible when ripe. Seeds highly nutritious. Flowering sporadically throughout year, mainly Feb.-Oct.

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Habitat

    Dry sandy desert area near the coast.

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Coastal sand dunes and riverbeds.

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Distribution

    Angola, Namibia, South Africa (Northern Cape).

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Angola to lower Gariep Valley.

  • Provided by: [B].e-Flora of South Africa
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

      Bibliography

    • 1 Gen. Pl.
    • 2 Meeuse, ADJ. 1962. The Cucurbitaceae of southern Africa. Bothalia 8: 1 - 111.
    • 3 Welman, WG. 2013. Cucurbitaceae. 366 - 368. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

     Information From

    Cucurbitaceae
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    e-Flora of South Africa
    e-Flora of South Africa. v1.21. 2018. South African National Biodiversity Institute. http://ipt.sanbi.org.za/iptsanbi/resource?r=flora_descriptions&v=1.21
    • B All Rights Reserved
    World Flora Online consortium
    http://www.worldfloraonline.org/organisation/WFO
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • C CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).