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Plant: Wild Calabash (Lagenaria ciceraria)

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Plant: Wild Calabash (Lagenaria ciceraria)

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:26 am

Taken from Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp

Nicolette wrote: I was curious about some "creepers" near Afsaal, looks like a moon landscape. Anyone know what it is the creeper seems to be strangling the bush in some cases?


Vonnie wrote:Hi Nicolette

I was there 3 weeks ago and noticed those weird creepers as well - some bushes look as if they are entirely covered with green blankets. Very strange! But I don't know what they are - it was the first time that I saw that phenomenon.

Can some clever plant person maybe enlighten us?


I’m creating a new thread for this because I’m also very interested to find out more about this creeper – I’ve even seen it in Moz. It really takes over the bush, covering the ground and all the vegetation.
Anybody?

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Unread postby DuQues » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:29 am

Maybe it would be handy if someone hops over to the Park and makes a few detail photo's?
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Unread postby gwendolen » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:07 am

There where pictures in the recent sighting's forum. I think by JB.

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Stephen
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Unread postby Stephen » Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:58 pm

:D Greetings from Biyamiti

http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/97918/index.html

Cucurbitaceae - Cucumbers, melons, calabashes.
Genus: Lagenaria spp – Calabash
Species: siceraria

It is not the exact same species, but it is the closest I could get on a long week-end. I will follow up with the herbarium in Skukuza next week. The “Wild Calabash” as we call it is only a round fruit and does not have the extension on the top side. Although it does look like it is smothering the trees – it does not present a problem as it is an annual that is already busy dying off at the moment. The exceptional growth of these plans this year was augmented by the good rains for the season. The fruit are busy forming now.

Cucurbitaceae
About 6 species, mainly in tropical Africa, with 2 species native to southern Africa.
Publications
Jeffrey, C. 1978. Cucurbitaceae. Flora Zambesiaca 4: 414-499.
Meeuse, A.D.J. 1962. The Cucurbitaceae of southern Africa. Bothalia 8: 1-111. :D
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Unread postby Jazil » Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:56 am

Stephen thanks for onfo that you have posted.
I was fascinated and yet horrified to see the amount of creepers growing, especially between BND and Skukuza.
I did take pics of what I saw, and certainly in some places looks like a "moonscape" turned green.
Image

and I took a fairly close up too.
Image
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Unread postby DuQues » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:14 am

That second photo would seem to rule out Stephen's kalabash?
Those are beans I see... Unless that's from the "host" plant.
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Unread postby Jazil » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:31 am

I agree DQ, with this creeper, but I did see some others that could be what Stephen is talking about.
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Unread postby Stephen » Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:21 pm

:D
Indeed the Lagenaria ciceraria is the correct name for the larger creeper – that is the one with the larger leaves and calabash fruit.
Image

The other creeper, mostly in the area between Afsaal and Pretorius Kop which is called the Macrotyloma axillare the common name is Lime-yellow Pea. In 2001 it was also extremely prolific in the Pretoriuskop area.
Image

Family: Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus: Macrotyloma
Species: axillare – Lime-yellow Pea.

Both of these are indigenous and there is no reason for concern that they have taken over the bush as they are annuals and the major growth was augmented by the good summer rain that we had.
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Unread postby Vonnie » Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:21 am

I would go with the pea theory - thanx everyone for your info! I knew there would have been someone in the know! :wink:
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Unread postby Oumie » Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:27 pm

[quote="Jazil"]I was fascinated and yet horrified to see the amount of creepers growing, especially between BND and Skukuza.
I did take pics of what I saw, and certainly in some places looks like a "moonscape" turned green.
Image

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Unread postby Jazil » Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:35 pm

Oumie, thanks for posting these pics, Its interesting to see the creepers now in winter.
Its still worries me even though Stephen says the boffins say its not a problem and was due to rain/weather etc. But the roots are there as are the seeds, and at a future date, they will spring up again, in even more profusion..... I dont know..... and then stifle, suffocate the bushes and trees that they are growing over.
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Unread postby reinette » Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:13 pm

I unfortunately didn't think of taking a picture of the wild calabash while doing the LOET. According to Jerry, our guide, the porcupines loves the fruit, once it has fallen to the ground.


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