Skip to Content

Plant: Agurkie (Cucumis metuliferus)

Find, identify and discuss the plants of all the SANParks

Moderator: lion queen

User avatar
Posts: 14493
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa

Agurkie (Cucumis metuliferus)

Unread postby Elsa » Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:52 pm

Can anyone help me in identifiying these two fruits? that are fairly prolific in the Southern regions of Kruger currently.
They both seemed to be growing on a sort of vine.


This apple like fruit was plain green and sometimes speckled as in the the pic.


Also what animals would eat these fruits.
Many thanks
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1451
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:10 pm
Location: Golden Mile,West Coast, CFG

Unread postby Jay » Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:57 pm

Elsa the green one is a wild calabash fruit and the orange one I for the life of me cannot remember it's name, but I seem to remember my gran saying you can make jam from it :shock: I think lotsa animals eat it, as for the wild calabash, it's probably like many of those fruits,not to lekker tasting but a source of fluids in dry times.

User avatar
Pieter Steyn
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:59 am

Kruger fruits I.D

Unread postby Pieter Steyn » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:13 pm

Hi Elsa

Beautiful pictures

I have grown-up with the following Afrikaans names.

First pic.

Agurkie/doringkomkommertjie. Baboons normally eat it.

Second pic


The Corky-bark Monkey-orange tree has a similar fruit. Hard, woody-shelled, about 7cm in diameter, dark green fruit speckled with white. See Keith Coates Palgrave's " Trees of Southern Africa" new edition page 925.

I have seen these trees near "Pretoriuskop" and have noticed that Kudu's, ellies, mongooses and baboons eat the fruits.
The baboons brake the fruit on a rock and the mongooses roll it onto the road and wait for a vehicle to drive over it.
The "Kalahari mongooses do the same with a "Tsjama" (it seems that the mongooses have also noticed the people don't look where they drive, thereby driving over anything that is on the road)

I'm keen to see the experts response's to the pictures.

Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: France

Unread postby cana » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:26 pm


Both are climbers from Cucurbitaceae plant family.The first one is Cucumis metuliferus (a.k.a Kiwano in his sweet edible commercial form),a widely spread species in southern Africa.
Wild fruit are very bitter.
Second fruit is a wild gourd : Lagenaria sphaerica.A perennial spp with very long stem in trees.

I grow both in my private Cucurbitaceae collection here in France.


User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 543
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:04 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire UK

Whats this please

Unread postby richardharris » Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:00 pm


Terrible at identifying plants etc. Saw a lot of this fruit in June - can someone tell me what it is and whether its edible etc.



User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: At work longing for the outdoors!

Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:31 am

richardharris wrote:can someone tell me what it is and whether its edible etc.

Cucumis metuliferus
(other names: african horned cucumber, horned cucumber, jelly melon, kiwano, red cucumber,red gherkin, spiny cucumber, horned cucumber (Eng), rooi agurkie, rooi komkommer, wilde komkommer (Afrikaans), magabala, mokapana (Tswana), mukuke (Venda), mutete, mugaika (Shona), uhufafa (Zulu)

The thin rind covers a greenish translucent flesh in which the seeds are embedded. This flesh can be eaten raw or cooked and has a taste very similar to cucumber.
Bitter strains occur and these are probably poisonous, but cooking can neutralize this toxicity. Because it is rather bitter it is seldom consumed by humans but a jelly can be made from the fruit, it can be pickled in vinegar and the fresh fruit, if not bitter, can be used in salads.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
Please help save Mapungubwe NP - Facebook page

User avatar
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:34 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Plant I.D Needed

Unread postby Mant » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:49 am


Could somebody please help me identify this plant :?

I know it is one of the Cucumis species but which one?




User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14515
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Re: Plant ID needed

Unread postby Imberbe » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:41 am

:thumbs_up: Agree. Be careful of all cucumis species. Though some may be edible at some times etc., all carry a danger of being poisonous.
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit

One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.

User avatar
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 11963
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:57 pm
Location: 'Incorrect!!.......Need to be in the bush!'

Re: Plant ID needed

Unread postby Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:54 am

Is it a type of fruit..... I thought it was rather unusual as well as had such a vibrant colour.
If someone could help with ID please. 8)

"Listen to the voice of nature, for it holds treasures for you."~ Native American (Huron) Proverb

ross hawkins
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:50 pm
Location: JHB, Gauteng

Re: Plant ID needed

Unread postby ross hawkins » Fri May 16, 2014 1:43 pm

@trrp-trrrrrrrr this could possibly be aHorned Cucumber Cucumis metuliferus

User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 12:07 pm
Location: South Africa

Re: Plant ID needed

Unread postby lemonbalm » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:16 pm

@ trrp - it is a fruit :D of one of the wild cucumbers as ross hawkins says
"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority." ~ E. B. White

Return to “Plants”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest