Flower and leaves. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Melons. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Plant. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Mature melons. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Common Name

Wild Melon, Camel Melon, Watermelon, Bitter Melon




Introduced annual forb or climber, prostrate or to 3m tall.  Leaves alternating along the stems, with cordate basal lobes, 2-20cm long, 30-150mm wide, flat, upper surface becoming hairless, lower surface shortly hairy and rough, the edges divided, wavy and often toothed, tips notched or with fine points.  Male and female flowers on the same plant.  Flowers yellow, with 5 petals, borne singly on stalks arising from the bases of the leaves.  Fruit green, mottled or striped with patches of paler green or yellowish.

The melons differ from those of Citrullus colocynthis in that the melons are spherical to oval, the flesh is edible, and the seeds are initially white but mature to brown with black stripes.

Description and photo in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales pages 624-625

PlantNET description (as Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus):