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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Annual herb with prostrate or climbing stems up to 3 m long, with spreading bristly hairs. Leaves broadly ovate in outline, up to 10 × 12.5 cm, usually deeply 3-7 lobed, with bristly hairs on both surfaces, becoming roughly puntate; margin finely sinuate-denticulate; petiole 2-12 cm long, with long spreading bristly hairs. Flowers unisexual on the same plant, yellow. Male flowers in 2-10-flowered axillary clusters, c. 1.4 cm in diameter; female flowers solitary, c. 2 cm in diameter, sometimes in the same cluster as male flowers. Fruits subglobose or ellipsoid, up to 4.5 × 3.5 cm covered in soft spines, green, sometimes with pales stripes, turning pale yellow when ripe; fruit stalk 5-21 cm long, somewhat expanded upwards.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

Worldwide distribution

Widespread in tropical Africa, Australia and America but probably only native to Southern Africa, particularly the kalahari sand region.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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Distribution: Along the coast or in coastal thickets, in southern and southwestern Puerto Rico. Also on Culebra, Mona, Vieques, Anegada, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and Tortola. Native to Africa, but naturalized in the Antilles, Central America, and South America.

Public forest: Guánica and Mona.

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cucumis anguria

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cucumis anguria

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG, Folk medicine

Comments: In Mexico, a root decoction is valued as a remedy for "stomach trouble." Colombians treat kidney problems with a decoction and believe that the fruit dissolves kidney stones when eaten in salad form. In Curaçao the fresh fruit is eaten to treat jaundice. The Cubans apply the juice of the leaves to freckles, and after being steeped in vinegar, the leaves are a valued treatment of ringworms. The fruit is applied to hemorrhoids. In Cuba, the root is taken in decoction to reduce edema.

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Wikipedia

Cucumis anguria

Cucumis anguria, commonly known as bur cucumber,[2] bur gherkin,[2] cackrey,[3] gooseberry gourd,[2] maroon cucumber,[3] West Indian gherkin,[2][4] and West Indian gourd,[3] is a vine that is indigenous to Africa, but has become naturalized in the New World, and is cultivated in many places.[2] It is similar and related to the common cucumber (C. sativus) and its cultivars are known as gherkins.[citation needed]

Description[edit]

Cucumis anguria is a thinly stemmed, herbaceous vine scrambling up to 3 meters long. Fruits (4–5 cm × 3–4 cm) are longly stalked, and ovoid to oblong. The surface of the fruits have long hairs covering a surface having warts or spines: The inner flesh is palid to green.[3]

Distribution[edit]

Although naturalized in many parts of the New World, Cucumis anguria is indigenous only to Africa, in the following countries: Angola; Botswana; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga); Swaziland; Tanzania; Zambia; and Zimbabwe.[2]

Cucumis anguria has become naturalized in: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Australia (Queensland); Barbados; Brazil; Cayman Islands; Costa Rica; Cuba; the Dominican Republic; Ecuador; French Guiana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Madagascar; Martinique; Mexico; Netherlands Antilles; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Puerto Rico; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and Grenadines; Suriname; the U.S. (California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington); Venezuela; and both British and American Virgin Islands.[2][4]

Cucumis anguria is also cultivated, but not indigenous to, nor yet believed to have become naturalized in these places: Cape Verde; Réunion; Senegal; and parts of the Caribbean not already mentioned above.[2]

Uses[edit]

Cucumis anguria is primarily grown (as a crop plant) for its edible fruit, which are used in pickling, as cooked vegetables,[3][5] or eaten raw.[3] The flavor is similar to that of the common cucumber.[citation needed] C. anguria fruits are popular in the northeast and north of Brazil, where they are an ingredient in the local version of cozido (meat-and-vegetable stew).[citation needed]

Cucumis anguria has been used in folk medicine to treat ailments of the stomach.[6]

Pests[edit]

Crops are susceptible to attacks by fungi, aphids, and cucumber beetles.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cucumis anguria was originally described and published in Species Plantarum 2: 1011. 1753. "Name - !Cucumis anguria L.". Tropicos. Saint Louis, Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j GRIN (November 24, 2008). "Cucumis anguria information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Cucumis anguria". EcoCrop. FAO. 1993–2007. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Profile for Cucumis anguria (West Indian gherkin)". PLANTS Database. USDA, NRCS. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Purseglove, J.W. (1968). Tropical Crops Dicotyledons. London: Longmans, Green and Co. Ltd. 
  6. ^ James A. Duke. "Cucumis anguria (CUCURBITACEAE)". Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
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