Citrullus colocynthis, Bitter Gourd, Bitter-apple, Colocynth,
Vine-of-Sodom, Wild gourd, Hebrew: אבטיח הפקועה, Arabic: حنظل
|| ||Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.|
|| ||Bitter Gourd, Bitter-apple, Colocynth, Vine-of-Sodom, Wild gourd,|
|| ||pakkuoth, אבטיח הפקועה|
|| ||Cucurbitaceae, דלועיים|
|| ||slender, tough, angular, scabrid ( slightly rough to the touch) vine-like stems; usually lying on the ground; climbing over shrubs and herbs by means of axiliary branching tendrils|
|| ||Alternate, entire, deeply divided, lobesnarrow, thick, glabrous or somewhat hairy|
|| ||Monoecious, both males and females solitary, corolla pale yellow|
|Fruits / pods:
|| ||a globose or oblong fleshy indehiscent berry, 5-7.5cm in diameter and variegated with green and white; seeds pale brown|
|| ||May, June, July, August|
|| ||Desert, thermophilous (heat-loving)|
|| ||Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts|
|| || Saharo-Arabian|
Derivation of the botanical name:
Citrullus, the Latin diminutive of Citrus, from the appearance of the fruit. Watermelon is Citrullus vulgaris.
colocynthis (Latin), Greek kolokunthis, "round gourd."
The wild gourds in the Bible were most likely the fruit of the Citrullus colocynthis. It is a groundhugging vine which grows abundantly in dry conditions. Round, yellow fruit with green spots and poisonous pulp, which fits the Elisha story (2 Kings 4:39).
- The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
- The standard author abbreviation Schrad. is used to indicate Heinrich Adolph Schrader (1767 – 1836), a German botanist and mycologist.
- 1 Kings 6:18
The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; no stone was to be seen.
- 1 Kings 7:24
Below the rim, gourds encircled it—ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.
- 2 Kings 4:39-40
One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine and picked as many of its gourds as his garment could hold. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were. The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.