Melothria pendula

Melothria pendula L.

Common Names: Creeping Cucumber

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Habit: Melothria pendula grows as an annual vine up climbing on fences and other vegetation through tendrils from leaf axils. The leaves are arranged alternately, reniform to orbicular in shape  with 5 or 7 lobes. Center lobes longer than side lobes that are also divided into sublobes. The leave is to 6 cm in length and 12 cm wide, with an entire margin, lobes with a rounded to acute apex.

Melothria pendula is monoecious. The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic, flowers are arranged in racemes (staminate) and solitarily or clustered (carpellate) in leaf axils. The calyx has 5 fused green sepals.  The corolla has 5 fused, yellow petals.  In staminate flowers there are 3 stamens and no carpel. In carpellate flowers there are no stamens and an inferior ovary with 3 locules and many seeds.  The fruit is a berry turning dark blue/black at maturity with many seeds.

Habitat: Melothria pendula grows in Human Altered environments (old fields, yards, roadsides, fence lines).

Distribution: Melothria pendula is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but does occur in the northern islands as well as western hemisphere tropics and subtropics.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Melothria pendula is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.