Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Robert L. Schlising

Annual, perennial herb, generally monoecious; hairs often hardened by calcium deposits
Stems trailing or climbing, 1–many; tendril generally 1 per node, often branched
Leaves generally simple, alternate, generally palmately lobed, veined, petioled; stipule 0
Inflorescences at nodes; staminate flowers in racemes, panicles, small clusters, rarely solitary; pistillate flowers generally solitary
Flower unisexual in CA, radial; hypanthium > ovary; calyx (apparently 0 or) generally 5-lobed; corolla rotate or cup-shaped, generally 5-lobed; stamens 3–5 (or appearing 1–3 from fusion), anthers often > filaments, twisted together; ovary ± inferior, chambers generally 5, placentas parietal, ± growing into chambers, styles 1–3, stigmas generally lobed, large
Fruit: berry (sometimes drying) or capsule (irregularly dehiscent), generally gourd- or melon-like
Seeds 1–many
Genera in family: 100 genera, 700 species: especially tropical; some cultivated (Citrullus ; Cucumis ; Cucurbita ; Sechium , chayote). Citrullus colocynthis var. lanatus has been reported as a weed in DSon.



Annual, perennial herb
Stem ± hairy; tendril branched
Leaf deeply, ± palmately lobed; 1° lobes ± pinnately lobed
Inflorescences: staminate flowers and pistillate flowers solitary at different nodes
Flower: corolla 3–4 cm wide, rotate or shallowly cup-shaped, yellow, deeply 5-lobed, fused portion < 1 cm; anthers 3, free; stigmas 3, reniform
Fruit melon-like, indehiscent, round to oblong; rind hard, smooth
Seeds many, ± 1 cm
Species in genus: 4 species: tropical Africa, Asia
Etymology: (Latin: diminutive of citrus)


C. colocynthis (L.) Schrad. var. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai

Fruit large, green, generally striped or mottled with darker green
Seeds white to black
Chromosomes: 2n=22
Ecology: Disturbed areas
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: native to Africa, widely cultivated and naturalized
Synonyms: C. l. (Thunb.) Mansf.; C. vulgaris Schrad
Plants with small, generally round fruits, white fruit flesh, green or tan seeds assignable to var. citroides (L.H. Bailey) Mansf., citron, an uncommon weed.

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bioregional map for CITRULLUS%20colocynthis%20var.%20lanatus being generated

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