Acanthosicyos (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Acanthosicyos (Sturtevant, 1919)

Acanthosicyos horrida Welw.

Cucurbitaceae. NARAS.

Tropics of Africa. The fruit grows on a bush from four to five feet high, without leaves and with opposite thorns. It has a coriaceous rind, rough with prickles, is about 15-18 inches around and inside resembles a melon as to seed and pulp. When ripe it has a luscious sub-acid taste. The bushes grow on little knolls of sand. It is described, however, by Andersonl as a creeper which produces a kind of prickly gourd about the size of a Swede turnip and of delicious flavor. It constitutes for several months of the year the chief food of the natives, and the seeds are dried and preserved for winter consumption.