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Plant: Agurkie (Cucumis metuliferus)

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 10938
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:52 pm Unread post
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
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:10 pm
Posts: 1451
Location: Golden Mile,West Coast, CFG
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Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:57 pm Unread post
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.

Kruger fruits I.D

Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:59 am
Posts: 286
Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:13 pm Unread post
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.

Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:10 pm
Posts: 6
Location: France
Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:26 pm Unread post

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.


Whats this please

Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:04 pm
Posts: 537
Location: Nottinghamshire UK
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Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:00 pm Unread post

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.



Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 12:00 pm
Posts: 530
Location: At work longing for the outdoors!
Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:31 am Unread post
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.

Plant I.D Needed

Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 382
Location: Johannesburg
Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:49 am Unread post

Could somebody please help me identify this plant :?

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




Re: Plant ID needed

Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14287
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:41 am Unread post
: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.

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