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Cucumis maderaspatanus



Botanical Name

Cucumis maderaspatanus L.

Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 1012. Type: Illustration of Cucumis maderaspatanus fructoo minimo in Pluk., Phytogr. 3, t. 170, fig. 2 91962). Fide Meeuse, Bothalia 8: 14 (1962).


Mukia maderaspatana (L.) M.Roem., Familiarum Naturalium Regni Vegetabilis Synopses Monographicae 2: (1846), Type: ?. Melothria maderaspatana (L.) Cogn., Monographiae Phanerogamarum 3: 623(1881), Type: ?. Bryonia scabrella L., Suppl. Pl.: 424(1781), Type: Cultivated plant at Uppsala, originally from india; holo: LINN 1153/11. Melothria celebica var. villosior Cogn., Bulletin de L'Academie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Baeux-Arts de Belgique ser. 3, 14: 357(1887), Type: Habitat in Australia ad sinum, Carpentaria (F. von Mueller). Melothria argentea Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 1189(1928), Type: Queensland: am Flinders River bei Hughenden h~uufig (DOMIN II. 1910). Mukia scabrella (L.) Arn., Hookers' Journal of Botany 3: 276(1841), Type: ?.

Common name

Madras Sea Pumpkin; Bristly Bryony


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.


Leaf blades about 2.5-6 x 2-5 cm, petioles about 0.7-4.5 cm long. Both the upper and lower leaf blade surfaces clothed in curved hairs, each hair with a swollen base. Similar hairs are also present on the petioles and twigs. Tendrils +/- leaf-opposed, straight for some distance (4-12 mm) and then tightly coiled.


Male flowers: Flowers about 4-5 mm diam. Calyx tube (hypanthium) about 3 mm long, lobes about 1 mm long. Petals about 2-2.5 mm long. Stamens 3. Two stamens with 2-locular anthers and one stamen with a unilocular anther. Disk cup-shaped. Female flowers: Staminodes minute or absent. Ovary glabrous, hairy, about 1.5-3 mm diam. Ovules few. Base of the style surrounded by an annular disk.


Fruits globose, about 8-12 mm diam., sparsely clothed in white hairs 12 mm long. Pedicels hairy, about 2 mm long. Seeds about 8 per fruit, each seed about 4-7 x 3 mm, elliptic to obovoid in outline. Testa tuberculate, clothed in a thin translucent aril. Cotyledons about 3.5-5 x 2 mm. Radicle about 0.8-1 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland and also in South Australia. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from near sea level to 450 m. Usually grows in open forest, sometimes in beach forest, vine thicket or monsoon forest. Also occurs in Africa, Asia, Malesia and the Philippines.









Slender Vine


RFK Code