Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Sicyos australis Endl.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Slender Vine
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Immature fruit. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: A. Lyne.
Flowers. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: A. Lyne.
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Endlicher, S.L. (1833) Prodromus Florae Norfolkicae : 67. Type: Norfolk Island, F. Bauer; syn: W.

Common name

Cucumber, Star; Cucumber, Angle; Star Cucumber; Angle Cucumber


Stems annual, up to 10 m long, 5 mm diam., sparsely hairy; tendrils 3-5-branched.


Leaves simple, with 5 or 7 shallow to deep lobes; leaf blades ovate or broadly ovate in outline, about 3.5-19.5 x 420 cm; margins dentate; petioles about 1-6.5 cm long; cordate with broad basal sinus. Both the upper and lower leaf blade surfaces clothed in glandular hairs.


Male and female flowers on same plant. Male flowers: in racemes of 8-19 flowers; peduncle 1.5-12.5 cm long; flowers pedicel 3-11 mm long; cayx tube (hypanthium) broadly campanulate, ca. 2.4-2.7 mm diameter; calyx lobes linear 0.4-0.7 mm long; corolla 4.5-7.8 mm diameter, mostly glabrous out, white, 5-lobed, lobes triangular and 2-2.6 mm long; staminal column 1.5-1.8 mm long. Female flowers: in a 8-11-flowered head; peduncle 8-23(-33) mm long; flowers subsessile; ovary ovate, ca. 3 mm long, spiny; calyx tube (hypanthium) broadly campanulate above constriction; calyx lobes linear, 0.4-0.7 mm long; corolla 2.5-3.5 mm diameter, mostly glabrous out, white, 5-lobed, lobes triangular-ovate ca. 1.6 mm long; style 1.4 mm long; stigma 2-lobed, lobes recurved.


Fruit ovate rarely fusiform, 6.4-9.5 mm long x 2.8-4 mm diameter, apically attenuate, surface more or less glabrous or scabrous with short hairs, with prickles; prickles dense, 1.6-3.6 mm long, tips recurved. Seeds ellipsoidal, 4-5.5 x 2.8-3.4 mm, brown.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as Tasmania. Altitudinal range in northern Australia not known but one specimen was collected at 840 m. Grows in vine thicket and monsoon forest in northern Australia.

Sicyos angulatus L., Species Plantarum 2: 1013(1753), Type: Habitat in Canada, Mexico. Sicyos fretensis Hook.f., Hooker's London Journal of Botany 6 : 473(1847), Type: Sisters Island, E. Coast of Flinders Island (Bass Straits); Gunn.
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