Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Citrullus lanatus
(Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai, Cucurbitaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Citrullus aedulis Pangalo; Citrullus vulgaris Schrad.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chamorro: chandia

Chinese: xi gua

English: Afghan melon, bastard-melon, bitter-melon, egusi, egusi watermelon, watermelon, wild melon

French: melon d'eau, pastique

I-Kiribati: te meren

Japanese: suika

Korean: subag

Mangarevan: meleti, mereti

Maori (Cook Islands): merēni

Niuean: meleni

Palauan: sandiang, suika

Samoan: meleni, meleni, meleni

Spanish: albudeca, sandía

Tahitian: merēni, mereni Tahiti

Tongan: hina pāpālangi, meleni

Tongarevan (spoken): melēni

Tongarevan (written): merēni

Tuvaluan: meleni

Yapese: maeyis

Habit:  vine

Description:  "Annual herbaceous villous creeper, prostrate.  Leaves 8-20 cm long, scabrid, deeply pinnatifed, the lobes again pinnately lobes; pubescence harsh; tendrils bifid, pubescent; flowers axillary, short-pedicellate; male flowers greenish, 1.5 cm long; female flowers longer-pedunculate, 1.5 cm long; fruit large rounded or oblong (to 25 cm diam. or more) green or patterned, flesh red, [rarely yellow], watery, sweet; seeds black, flattened, 4-6 mm long, sometimes white-mottled"  (Stone, 1970; p. 562).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "cultivated...and also sparingly naturalized in waste places" (Smith, 1981; p. 678). In New Caledonia, "cultivée aujourd'hui sur une échelle assez importante (environs de Nouméa et côte Ouest); parfois spontané dans des lieux incultes" (MacKee, 1994; p. 46).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Indigenous in tropical and subtropical Africa, early introduced into Mediterranean areas and India, and now widespread in cultivation and frequently naturalized" (Smith, 1981; p. 678).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ofu Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 66)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 9569 (BISH)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Var. caffrorum
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 49)
Var. caffrorum
Cook Islands
Northern Cook Islands
Penrhyn (Tongareva) Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Miti‘aro Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Española Group
Española Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Tol Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Var. caffrorum
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 15)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 82)
?
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Ulithi Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Var. caffrorum
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Fiji Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 678)
Sparingly naturalized.
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
St. John, Harold (1988) (p. 25)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 11101 (BISH)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Eiao Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: D.H. Lorence, L. Dunn, S.P. Perlman, K.R. Wood & J.-Y. Meyer 9048 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 39321)
Taxon name on voucher: Citrullus lanatus
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 40841)
Taxon name on voucher: Citrullus lanatus
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. (1987) (p. 50)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 64851 (US)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 92)
Voucher cited: Moore 572
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 92)
Voucher cited: Grant 4567
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tetiaroa Atoll introduced
cultivated
Sachet, M.-H./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 47)
Var. caffrorum (Alef.) Fosberg
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tupai Island introduced
cultivated
Sachet, M.-H. (1983) (p. 21)
As Citrullus vulgaris var. caffrorum (Alet.) Fosberg
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Takapoto Atoll introduced
cultivated
Sachet, M-H. (1983) (p. 30)
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Tikehau (Tikahau) Atoll introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 7153 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rapa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 9176 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 562)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Var. caffrorum
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 569)
Garden escapes.
Kiribati
Kiribati
Kiribati (Republic of) introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Var. caffrorum
Kiribati
Line Islands
Tabuaeran (Fanning) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Wester, Lyndon (1985) (p. 32)
Kiribati
Phoenix Islands
Kanton Island introduced
Luomala, Katharine (1951) (p. 174)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Enewetak (Ãnewetak, Eniwetok) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Var. caffrorum
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Enewetak (Ãnewetak, Eniwetok) Atoll introduced
St. John, Harold (1960) (p. 333)
Persisting from cultivation.
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Enewetak (Ãnewetak, Eniwetok) Atoll introduced
invasive
Fosberg, F. R. (1955) (p. 15)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 24375 (US)
Persisting from cultivation.
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Jaluit (Jãlwõj) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Var. caffrorum
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Var. caffrorum
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 100)
Not seen on this survey and may no longer be present.
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 87)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Var. caffrorum
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 121)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Maré introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 45)
Voucher cited: Däniker 3164
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 45)
Voucher cited: MacKee 12320
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île des Pins (Isle of Pines) introduced
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 45)
Voucher cited: Germain s.n.
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 77)
Voucher cited: CHR 170271
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 114)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 9797 (BISH)
"Occasional plants occur spontaneously in waste areas".
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Malakal (Ngemelachel) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Palau Islands (main island group) introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 176)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 582)
Commonly cultivated and occasional as an escape.
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
St. John, H. (1987) (p. 52)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
cultivated
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 58)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Johnston Atoll
Johnston Island introduced
cultivated
Amerson, A. Binion, Jr./Shelton, Philip C. (1976) (p. 60)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. B-6)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 89)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Commonly cultivated.
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (pp. 104-105)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 594)
"An escape from cultivation in waste places, rubbish dumps and near settlements, and in coastal sands".


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This page was created on 20 JUN 2004 and was last updated on 12 MAR 2013.