Kedrostis Medik.
Kedrostis Medik., Philos. Bot. 2: 69. 1791.
Type: Kedrostis africana (L.) Cogn.; basionym: Bryonia africana L., Sp. Pl. 2: 1013. 1753, type not designated.
Coniandra Schrad. ex Eckl. & Zeyh., Enum. Pl. Afr. Austral. 2: 275. 1836.
Cyrtonema Schrad. ex Eckl. & Zeyh., Enum. Pl. Afr. Austral. 2: 276. 1836.
Rhynchocarpa Schrad. ex Endl., Gen. Pl. 936. 1839.
Achmandra Arn. in R. Wight, Madras J. Lit. Sci. 12: 49. 1840.
Pisosperma Sonder, in W. H. Harvey & Sonder Fl. Cap. 2: 498. 1862.
Cerasiocarpum Hook. f., Gen. Pl. 1: 832. 1867.
Toxanthera Hook. f., Icon. Pl. 15: 16, t. 1421. 1883.
Phialocarpus Deflers, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 42: 304. 1895 (pro parte).

Perennial climbers or trailers with up to 2 m long, herbaceous shoots and tuberous rootstock or woody climbers or subshrubs with up to 12 m long shoots and thick basal stems and coral-like bark. Kedrostis psammophila is a tuberous herb creeping with white underground branches each with several subsidiary tubers and only very short, leaf-bearing aboveground twigs. The sexual system is monoecious or dioecious. The leaves are simple, entire (rarely trifoliolate), the blade is ovate or hastate, more or less palmately lobed to deeply dissected into lanceolate segments. The tendrils are simple, bifid or absent (in K. psammophila). Male flowers are produced in pedunculate racemes, the female flowers solitary, paired or in small fascicles, in K. psammophila arising from subterranean stems. The receptacle-tube is shortly campanulate, in female K. psammophila initially horizontal then erect, narrowly cylindrical and solid, 35-70 mm long and 2-3 mm in diam., mostly subterranean. The five sepals are small and lanceolate. The corolla is rotate with ovate, 1.5-8 mm long petals, in female K. psammophila 10-12 mm long, united at base, greenish to yellow. The five stamens are inserted near the mouth of the tube on short filaments. The anthers are all monothecous, two in pairs and one single or the pairs fused (two bithecous and one monothecous). The thecae are straight and contain tricolporate, perforate to (striato)reticulate, medium-sized pollen (polar axis 53-91 µm, equatorial axis 48-95 µm, (Khunwasi 1998)). The ovary is ovoid, smooth or finely papillate with horizontal ovules. The style is slender with bi- or trifid stigmata. The fruits are produced solitary or in clusters, baccate, fleshy, subglobose, ovoid-rostrate, conical or fusiform, to 9 cm long and 3 cm in diam., indehiscent or opening by valves, ripening orange to red, rarely subterranean and ripening white (in K. psammophila). Each fruit contains 1-10, small, tumid seeds, asymmetrically pear-shaped to subglobose. The testa is smooth. The chromosome number is n = 12 in K. elongata Keraudren (Keraudren 1968) and n = 13 in K. foetidissima (Jacq.) Cogn. (Beevy and Kuriachan 1996).

The 23 species grow in deciduous bushland, thickets, woodland, lowland rainforest, and semi-desert grassland in tropical and subtropical Africa and Arabia, six species are endemic in Madagascar, and two species in Asia (India, Sri Lanka, W Malesia).

The genus Kedrostis is placed in tribe Coniandreae but its exact relationships are still being analysed (Schaefer et al. 2009, Schaefer & Renner 2011).

Accepted species

Kedrostis abdallae (L.) Zimm., Cucurbitac. 2: 179.1922.
Kedrostis africana (L.) Cogn., Monogr. Phan. 3: 643.1881.
Kedrostis capensis A. Meeuse, Bothalia 8: 28. 1962.
Kedrostis cogniauxii Keraudren, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 108: 241-242. 1961.
Kedrostis courtallensis (L.) (Arn.) C. Jeffrey, Kew Bull. 15: 353.1961.
Kedrostis crassirostrata Bremek., Ann. Transvaal Mus. 15: 260. 1933.
Kedrostis dissecta Keraudren, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 108: 241. 1961.
Kedrostis elongata Keraudren, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 108: 242. 1961.
Kedrostis foetidissima (Jacq.) Cogn., Monogr. Phan. 3: 634. 1881.
Kedrostis gijef C. Jeffrey, Kew Bull. 15: 354. 1962.

Kedrostis glomeruliflora (Deflers) C. Jeffrey, Kew Bull. 15: 354. 1962.
Kedrostis heterophylla A. Zimm., Cucurbitac. 2: 180. 1922.
Kedrostis hirta W.J. de Wilde & Duyfjes, Reinwardtia 12: 132. 2004.
Kedrostis hirtella Cogn., Monogr. Phan. 3: 644. 1881.
Kedrostis lanuginosa Keraudren, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 108: 242. 1961.
Kedrostis laxa Keraudren, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 108: 242. 1961.
Kedrostis leloja (Forssk. ex J.F Gmel.) C. Jeffrey, Kew Bull. 15: 354. 1961 (publ. 1962).
Kedrostis limpompensis C. Jeffrey, Kew Bull. 30: 485. 1975.
Kedrostis monosperma W.J. de Wilde & Duyfjes, Gard. Bull. Singapore 61: 205. 2009.
Kedrostis nana Cogn., Monogr. Phan. 3: 637. 1881.
Kedrostis perrieri Keraudren, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 108: 242. 1961.
Kedrostis psammophila Bruyns, Bothalia 23: 233. 1993.
Kedrostis pseudogijef C. Jeffrey, Kew Bull. 15: 355. 1962.


Beevy, S.S. and P. Kuriachan. 1996. Chromosome numbers of South Indian Cucurbitaceae and a note on the cytological evolution in the family. J. Cytol. Genet. 31: 65-71.

Bruyns, P. 1993. A new species of Kedrostis from the Western Cape. Bothalia 23: 233-235.

Keraudren, M. 1968. Recherches sur les cucurbitacées de Madagascar. Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. B 16: 122-330.

Khunwasi, C. 1998. Palynology of the Cucurbitaceae. Doctoral Dissertation Naturwiss. Fak., University of Innsbruck.

Schaefer, H. and S.S. Renner. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships in the order Cucurbitales and a new classification of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae). Taxon 60: 122-138.

Schaefer, H., Heibl, C., and S.S. Renner. 2009. Gourds afloat: a dated phylogeny reveals an Asian origin of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) and numerous oversea dispersal events. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276: 843-851.