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Taxon: Melothria sphaerocarpa (Cogn.) H. Schaef. & S. S. Renner

Genus: Melothria
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Tribe: Benincaseae
Nomen number: 463029
Place of publication: Taxon 60:134. 2011
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 28-Apr-2011 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 9 (5 active, 1 available) in National Plant Germplasm System (Map)

Autonyms (not in current use) and synonyms:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym)

Common names:

  • dark egusi  (Source: PROTA4U) - English
  • egusi-itoo  (Source: PROTA4U) - English
  • white-seed-melon  (Source: Biol Cucurb) - English
  • égousi  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • egousi-itoo  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • gousi  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • lipupu  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese

Economic Importance:

  • Human food: oil/fat (seeds are rich in oil and contain more protein than peanuts fide Use Pl WT Afr, as Cucumeropsis mannii) seeds (as Cucumeropsis mannii) seeds (as Cucumeropsis mannii)

Distributional Range:


    • WEST-CENTRAL TROPICAL AFRICA: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea
    • WEST TROPICAL AFRICA: Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    Southern America
    • CARIBBEAN: Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago [Trinidad]
    • NORTHERN SOUTH AMERICA: Guyana, Venezuela [Merida, Amazonas, Barinas, Cojedes, Portuguesa, Sucre, Carabobo, Lara, Yaracuy, Delta Amacuro]
    • BRAZIL: Brazil [Amazonas, Pará]
    • WESTERN SOUTH AMERICA: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador


    • WEST-CENTRAL TROPICAL AFRICA: Cameroon, Central African Republic
    • WEST TROPICAL AFRICA: Cote D'Ivoire, Nigeria


  1. Schaefer, H. & S. S. Renner. 2010. A gift from the New World? The West African crop Cucumeropsis mannii and the American Posadaea sphaerocarpa (Cucurbitaceae) are the same species. Syst. Bot. 35:534-540. URL: www.aspt.net/systematic-botany
  2. Schaefer, H. & S. S. Renner. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships in the order Cucurbitales and a new classification of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae). Taxon 60:122-138.

Check other web resources for Melothria sphaerocarpa (Cogn.) H. Schaef. & S. S. Renner :

  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2019. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=463029. Accessed 20 September 2019.