Psiguria pedata

Psiguria pedata (L.) R. A. Howard

Common Names: Pygmy Melon

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Habit: Psiguria pedata grows as an annual vine up climbing on fences and other vegetation through tendrils from leaf axils. The stems have a groove. The leaves are arranged alternately, reniform in shape but with deep lobes (up to 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.

The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic, flowers are arranged in clusters (staminate) or  solitarily (carpellate) in leaf axils. The calyx has 5 fused green sepals.  The corolla has 5 fused, orange petals.  In staminate flowers there are 3 stamens, 2 staminodes and no carpel. In carpellate flowers there are two staminodes but no stamens and an inferior ovary with a single locule and many seeds.  The fruit is a green berry with stripes at maturity with many seeds.

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

Distribution: Psiguria pedata occurs in the northern island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago, Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.

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