Cayaponia racemosa

Cayaponia racemosa (Mill.) Cogn.

Common Names: Melon Leaf

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Habit: Cayaponia racemosa grows as a perennial vine up climbing on other vegetation through tendrils from leaf axils. The leaves are arranged alternately, oval/ovate in shape with 5 or 7 lobes. The leave is to 15 cm in length, lobes with a mucronate leaf apex.

The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic, flowers are arranged in few flowered racemes in leaf axils. It is monoecious. The calyx has 5 fused green sepals.  The corolla has 5 fused, white, pubescent petals.  In staminate flowers there are 3 stamens and no carpel. In carpellate flowers there are no stamens and an inferior ovary with a 3 locules and many seeds.  The fruit is an elongate orange or red berry at maturity.

Habitat: Cayaponia racemosa grows along Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forest/Shrublands (coppice) edges and in Pine Woodlands.

Distribution: Cayaponia racemosa occurs in the northern island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago, The Caribbean, Mexico, Central and northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Cayaponia racemosa is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.