Diplocyclos palmatus

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Common name: lollypop climber, striped cucumber

Category: 1a NEMBA

Diplocyclos_palmatus_leaves

Description

Diplocyclos palmatus (L.) C. Jeffrey is a slender, much-branched climber, perennial, with stems up to 6 m long. Leaves simple, alternate, 5 lobed, smooth to hairy above, pale and smooth beneath, margins irregularly toothed, with unpleasant odour when crushed. Flowers white to yellowish, unisexual, male flowers in small fascicles and females flowers solitary. It flowers from March to April. Fruit green with white longitudinal stripes, which become brightly red to orange with maturity.

Diplocyclos_palmatus

Distribution

Lollypop climbers are native to Australia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Tropical Africa. It is largely distributed in warmer rain forests. It has been recorded in India as growing and spreading in the wild.

How it spreads

Lollypop climber spreads mainly by seeds.

Diplocyclos_palmatus_leaves_and_fruit

History in South Africa

This species was probably introduced into South Africa as a garden ornamental because of its decorative fruits. It has been recorded in KwaZulu-Natal at Kloof Memorial Park and Edgecliff Nature Reserve in Pinetown.

Environmental and economic impact

Lollypop climber invades a variety of habitat types, e.g. forests and floodplains, where it threatens native vegetation.

How to eradicate

There are no herbicides registered for this species in South Africa. It can be controlled physically by hand pulling, preferably before seeding.

What you can you do to help?

Report sightings of these plants to the Invasive Species Programme at SANBI. We will need to know its locality (the exact locality, supply any landmarks of GPS information if possible).

Contact details

Alex Marsh

Email address: invasivespecies@sanbi.org.za

Tel: 021 799 8404 

References

  • Germplasm Resources Information Network. Diplocyclos palmatus (L.) C. Jeffrey. Available on line at: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?409855. Accessed 19 August 2014
  • Invasive species in South Africa. 2010. Available on line: http://www.invasives.org.za/invasive-species/item/266
    -lollipop-climber%7Cdiplocyclos-palmatus.html.  Accessed on 19 August 2014
  • New South Wales Flora on line. Diplocyclos palmatus (L.) Jeffrey.
  • Bosch, C. H. 2004. Diplocyclos palmatus (L.) C. Jeffrey. In: Grubben, G.J.H. and Denton, O. A. PRORA 2: Vegetables/Ledumes. PROTA, Wageningen, Nertherlands. 

See more on invasive alien plants and their categories.

Compiled by Thulisile Jaca

Last updated on 03 October 2014
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