Seeds of South Australia
Cucumis melo (Cucurbitaceae)
Ulcardo melon
List of species for Cucumis
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Seed collecting:
September to March
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Murray
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [comes up after floods]
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Dieri (SSD03)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Data Deficient   [unreliable record]
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Least Concern
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Least Concern
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Least Concern
Witjira (STP06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Least Concern
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Cucumis]
Name derivation:
Cucumis from Latin meaning cucumber and the word was derived from the Greek 'kykyon' meaning cucumber. Melo from the Greek 'melo' meaning apple-shaped melon.
Found in the north-east corner of South Australia, growing in grassland or woodland, mostly on clay soils. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Trailing or climbing annual herb with stems to 6 m long. Leaves ovate in outline to 9 cm long and 8 cm, mostly shallowly to deeply 3–5-lobed, lobes ovate, sinuate-dentate to lobulate, acute or obtuse. Male flowers in 2–4-flowered fascicles, female flowers solitary, yellow, densely pubescent. Flowers in summer.
Fruit type:
Green to yellow, fleshy, ellipsoid fruit to 5 cm long and 2 cm diameter, glabrescent or hirsute, on pedicels 2 cm long.
Seed type:
Yellow, flat pear-shaped seed to 5 mm long and 3 mm wide.
Seed collecting:
Collect maturing fruits, those that are large and turning green-yellow and with hard seeds inside.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruit in a bucket of water and rub the flesh off with your hands. Drain the water and wash again if required to remove all the flesh. Then spread the wet seeds on some paper towel and leave to dry. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, rat 100%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA2600 (9.76 g)826-Sep-2007MJT85
Lake Eyre
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.