Skip to Content

Plant: Agurkie (Cucumis metuliferus)

Find, identify and discuss the plants of all the SANParks
User avatar
Posts: 11425
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa

Agurkie (Cucumis metuliferus)

Unread post by 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

User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 884
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:10 pm
Location: Golden Mile,West Coast, CFG

Unread post by 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: 261
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:59 am

Kruger fruits I.D

Unread post by 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 post by 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: 456
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:04 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire UK

Whats this please

Unread post by 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: 493
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: At work longing for the outdoors!

Unread post by 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: 296
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:34 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Plant I.D Needed

Unread post by 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?



Biyamiti 25th - 28th March 2017

User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 13599
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Re: Plant ID needed

Unread post by 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
FAC Member (2015)
Award: Video of the Year (2014)
Award: Funniest/Best Forumite Name (2014)
Award: Forumite of the Year (2014)
Posts: 11004
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:57 pm

Re: Plant ID needed

Unread post by 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)

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~Author unknown

ross hawkins
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:50 pm
Location: JHB, Gauteng

Re: Plant ID needed

Unread post by 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: 156
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 12:07 pm
Location: South Africa

Re: Plant ID needed

Unread post by 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

Webcam Highlights

Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 14:23:53
Submitted by ao4 at 19:22:40
Submitted by DaveNW at 10:54:35
Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 14:18:01