ع
Climbers

Arabic Name

الحنظل، الشري

Latin Name

Citrullus colocynthis , Cucurbitaceae

English Name

Bitter Apple, hanzal, bateekh

Citrullus colocynthis, known in English as Bitter Apple and in Arabic as hanzal, is a fast growing, prostrate, trailing or climbing perennial herb with tendrils that can extend up to 3 metres. It occurs throughout northern and southern Africa, southwest Asia and the Arabian Peninsula, where it is widespread, especially in the Arriyadh region, owing to its hardiness in the summer. A more common relative of C. colocynthis is Citrullus lanatus, the watermelon. The leaves are triangular, grey-green and deeply lobed with three to seven lobes. The branches are hairy. The small, yellow flowers appear in summer. The fruit is about 7 cm in size, initially fleshy and a mottled green with yellow bands. Older fruits are yellow, and rattle if shaken. The fruit was used formerly as a digestive, and the taste is very bitter. Nowadays, its medicinal uses are limited, because it can damage the liver. Propagation is by seed. It grows on sandy soil, is moderately salt-tolerant, and for landscape purposes little maintenance is necessary once established. C. colocynthis will not tolerate frost, but recovers during summer. The Bitter Apple is very useful for open land as a coloniser and slope stabiliser. It can be also planted in extensive landscape schemes such as rock or steppe gardens, and as a groundcover.

General information

Family Name : Cucurbitaceae
Origin: Tropical , Mediterranean , Sub Tropical
Rainfall: Semi Humid , Semi Arid , Very Arid
Propagation: Sowing and Pricking Out
Maintenance: Low
Planting Phase: Perennial

Environmental conditions

Urban Climate: Resistant
Desiccation: Resistant
Drought: Vulnerable
Irrigation: None
Salinity: Low < 1,000 ppm
Hardiness Zones: 0°C

Plant shape

Vigour: Fast Growing
Height: 0.3 m M
Expansion: 3 M
Foliage: Deciduous

Flower

Colour: Yellow
Size: 2.5 CM
Flowering Period: From Early July Till Late March

Fruit

Type Of Fruit: Berry
Size: 7 CM
Toxicity: Poisonous

Location of Use :

Open Country , Rock Garden , Hillside Planting , Hillside Stabilization , Steppe Garden , Suitable For Commercial Use , Wadi Plant , Rowda Plant

Other choices :

Environmental Consolidation , Ground Cover , Plant Used by ADA , Attractive Fruits , Wall Coping , Attractive to Bees , Attractive Flower , Nativ in Riyadh , Medical Plant , Colonisers

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