Citrullus colocynthis

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Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.

alt=Description de l'image Citrullus colocynthis 004.JPG.
plante en fruits
Ordre Cucurbitales
Famille Cucurbitaceae
Genre Citrullus

2n = 22

Origine : Afrique,
Asie de l'Ouest et du Sud

sauvage et cultivé

Français coloquinte
Anglais bitter-apple

Résumé des usages
  • médicinal
  • graines comestibles
  • insectifuge


Noms populaires

français coloquinte
anglais bitter-apple, colocynth


Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. (1838)

basionyme : Cucumis colocynthis L. (1753)

synonyme : Colocynthis vulgaris Schrad. (1833)




Cultivated in places on a small scale both within and outside its native area, e.g., W Africa, S Spain, N Africa, Sicily, Cyprus and Tomsk in Siberia (here under glass). The officinal "Fructus colocynthidis" (dried pulp of the fruits) has been used as a drastic purgative since ancient times. The fruit pulp contains the bitter substance cucurbitacin-E-glycoside (elateridin). The seeds yield oil, and in some places are eaten roasted or ground into flour. This plant has potential for further development as a crop for very dry areas. Forms recognized by Fursa as subsp. insipidus (Pangalo) Fursa include non-bitter variants and may represent products of introgression from C. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai. They are found in the Mediterranean area, from Algeria to Jordan. Wild distribution: Subdesert and desert areas of N Africa, the Mediterranean, Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and (perhaps adventive) Australia.