Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cucumis umbellatus I.Telford

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Slender Vine
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaf and flowers. © R.L. Barrett
Leaf and fruit. © R.L. Barrett
Immature fruit. © B.S. Wannan
Habit, leaves and flowers. © R.L. Barrett
Habit, leaves and mature fruit. © B.S. Wannan
Habit, leaves. © B.S. Wannan

Telford, I.R.H., Sebastian, P., Bruhl, J.J. & Renner, S.S. (2011) Systematic Botany 36(2): 384. Type: Australia. Northern Territory: Darwin and Gulf: Kakadu National Park, Ubirr, Apr. 2009, Sebastian 14.


A slender trailing or climbing annual herb, most parts hispid; stems ribbed, to 3 m long x 2.6 mm diameter. Tendrils simple unbranched, +/- leaf-opposed, to 2 cm long.


Leaf blades broadly ovate in outline, shollowly to deeply 3-5-lobed, cordate, about 0.1-4 x 1.4-4.5 cm, petioles 0.8-3.5 cm long. Both the upper and lower leaf blade sparsely hairy with hairs to 1.8 mm long.


Inflorescences unisexual. Male flowers: borne in umbels of 12-20 flowers; calyx tube (hypanthium) about 1.6-2.2 mm long, lobes linear 0.5-0.8 mm long; corolla lobes ovate, 2.6-4 mm long; stamens 3, two stamens with 2-locular anthers and one stamen with a unilocular anther; stamens inserted about middle of hypanthium tube. Female flowers: solitary, rarely paired; peduncle 5-25 mm, greatly elongating in fruit; ovary subglobose ca. 0.8-1.2 mm diamter, hispid with retrorse hairs; base of the style surrounded by an annular disk.


Fruits subglobose, about 4-7 mm diameter, hairy with tuburcle-based hairs, ripening bright orange; peduncle 50-115 mm long; seeds about 1-3 per fruit, each seed 4.5-5 x 2.8-3.4 mm, faces convex, deeply pitted, margin narrow.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA and NT. Grows in sandy soils on sandstone, usually on rock outcrops, on talus slopes and along rocky watercourses. Occurs in vine thickets, low open woodland and open shrubland.

RFK Code


Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.