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Vascular Plants of California
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Citrullus lanatus var. citroides

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CucurbitaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb; hairs often hard from calcium deposits; generally monoecious. Stem: trailing or climbing, 1--many; tendril generally 1 per node, often branched. Leaf: generally simple, alternate, generally palmate-lobed and -veined, petioled; stipules 0. Inflorescence: at nodes; staminate flowers in racemes, panicles, small clusters, (or 1); pistillate flowers generally 1. Flower: unisexual [bisexual], radial; hypanthium > ovary; calyx generally 5-lobed (or +- 0); corolla rotate to cup- or bell-shaped, generally 5-lobed; stamens 3--5 (or +- 1--3 from fusion), anthers twisted together, often > filaments; ovary +- inferior, chambers 3--5, placentas parietal, styles 1--3, stigmas generally lobed, large. Fruit: berry, drying or not, or capsule, irregularly dehiscent, often gourd- or melon-like. Seed: 1--many.
Genera In Family: 100 genera, 700 species: especially tropics; some cultivated (Citrullus, watermelon; Cucumis, cucumber; Cucurbita, gourd, pumpkin, squash; Luffa, loofah; Sechium, chayote). Note: Several cultivated species included Bryonia dioica reported as waifs in California (Howell 1958 Wasmann J Biol 16:1--157), but none recently.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller & Robert L. Schlising
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CitrullusView Description 

Habit: Annual. Stem: +- hairy; tendril branched. Leaf: deeply, +- palmately lobed; 1° lobes +- pinnately lobed. Inflorescence: staminate, pistillate flowers 1, at different nodes. Flower: corolla generally < 3 cm wide, rotate or shallowly cup-shaped, yellow, deeply 5-lobed, fused part < 1 cm; anthers 3, free; stigmas 3, reniform. Fruit: melon-like, indehiscent, spheric to oblong; rind hard, smooth. Seed: many, +- 1 cm.
Etymology: (Latin: diminutive of citrus)
Reference: Dane & Liu 2007 Genet Resources Crop Evol 54:1255--1265
Unabridged Reference: McVaugh 2001 Citrullus In W.R. Anderson (ed), Flora Novo-Galiciana 3:502--503, Univ Michigan Herbarium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai var. citroides (L.H. Bailey) Mansf.
Fruit: large, green, generally striped or mottled with darker green; pulp white. Seed: white to black. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Disturbed areas; Elevation: < 300 m. Bioregional Distribution: SW, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: western Mexico; native to southern Africa. Flowering Time: May--Aug Note: Citrullus lanatus var. caffrorum (Alef.) Fosberg evidently has priority and so would be correct name; widely cultivated; hybridizes with Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.; Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus, cultivated watermelon, often escaped but not naturalized in California.
Synonyms: Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. var. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai, ined.; Citrullus vulgaris Schrad. ex Eckl. & Zeyh., in part
Jepson eFlora Author: John M. Miller & Robert L. Schlising
Reference: Dane & Liu 2007 Genet Resources Crop Evol 54:1255--1265
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: John M. Miller & Robert L. Schlising 2012, Citrullus lanatus var. citroides, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 23, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 23, 2024.

Citrullus lanatus  
var. citroides
click for enlargement
©2010 Barry Breckling
Citrullus lanatus  
var. citroides
click for enlargement
©2010 Barry Breckling
Citrullus lanatus  
var. citroides
click for enlargement
©2010 Barry Breckling

More photos of Citrullus lanatus var. citroides
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Citrullus lanatus var. citroides:
SW, DMoj
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).