CRASSULACEAE - Stonecrop Family

A family of 1500 species in 30 genera, cosmopolitan but with the majority of species found in Mexico, southern Africa and the Mediterranean. Herbs or shrubs with succulent leaves and/or stems. There are seven native species in Western Australia and nine are recorded as naturalised but many other species are grown and these can persist and spread when garden refuse is discarded. Cotyledon orbiculareis a succulent shrub to 70cm tall, with ovate, green or mealy leaves with a red margin. The flowers are pendent, tubular and red to orange, with 10 stamens. Abundant on granitic slopes on Breaksea Island in Albany harbour. Native to South Africa.

Cotyledon orbiculare , GK

Crassulaisa large genus of succulent herbs and shrubs chiefly from South Africa. Western Australia has 12 species, of which six are native. All the native species are annuals and all have more than two ovules per cell, but require specialist texts to separate them. All the weedy species are native to South Africa and most are found in waterlogged sites in crop paddocks. All flower in spring. C. alata is a minute reddish or green herb to 5cm, with linear leaves to 3mm long. The inconspicuous, three-partite flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves. Occurs on wasteland, road verges and in tuart forest from Perth to Busselton.

Crassula alata , GK

C. glomeratais an erect annual to 15cm with linear leaves 6-12mm long. The inflorescence is flat-topped and branched, and borne above the leaves. The flowers are white and are produced in spring. On beaches from Perth to Esperance. C. natansis an aquatic annual with slender, floating branches to 25cm long or to 10cm on drying mud, rarely branched. The leaves are linear, 3-8mm long, with single flowers on short, recurved stalks in the upper leaf axils. The flowers have four petals and sepals, the white petals have a red central stripe. A common weed of ephemeral wetlands and granite rock pools from Kalbarri to Esperance. C. thunbergianais a decumbent, much branched annual to 10cm tall. The leaves are narrow-elliptic, to 8mm long. The flowers have five petals and sepals, borne on short erect stalks, the petals are white. Occurs on wasteland, road verges and in coastal woodlands from Perth to Albany. Species recorded as persisting around old settlements, rubbish tips and as garden escapes include: Aeoniumarboreum, a yellow-flowered garden escape on tips and beaches between Perth and Albany; A. castello-paviae, a white flowered succulent shrub locally established on granite rocks in Torndirrup National Park; Crassula multicava, a decumbent shrub with ovate leaves, 2-4cm in diameter, pink flowers and spreading via plantlets produced in the inflorescence, in peppermint woodland at Two Peoples Bay and C. tetragona, an erect shrub to 40cm with linear leaves 1-4cm long and white flowers, locally established on granite rocks in Torndirrup National Park. There are probably more species in this category.

C. glomerata, GK

CUCURBITACEAE - Pumpkin Family

A family of around 700 species of mostly annual or perennial herbs, that trail or climb with the aid of tendrils. Found mainly in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Western Australia has 14 species of which six are naturalised. Citrullus lanatus (Afghan melon, pie melon, wild melon) PP, a wild relative of the water melon, is a summer growing annual, native to tropical and southern Africa. Its long, leafy, trailing stems are a familiar sight in late summer in paddocks in agricultural regions, along roadsides and disturbed water courses. The prostrate, bristly stems radiate from a fleshy tap root and bear large, deeply lobed leaves up to 20cm long as well as branched tendrils. The separate male and female flowers, produced in summer and autumn (and winter in the Kimberley), are bright yellow and 3-4cm across. The mature spherical fruit is up to 15cm across, hairy, with mottled green stripes at first, but becoming yellow and hairless with age. The dense, fleshy fruit is usually bitter and unpalatable. The related C. colocynthis (colocynth), a native of northern Africa and western Asia, is found in wetlands and creeks in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions. It is more sticky and hairy than C. lanatus and its fruits are green with yellow markings.

Citrullus lanatus , RR

Coccinia grandis (ivy gourd) DP is a rampant vine with white flowers, that is sometimes cultivated in gardens in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions. It has been gazetted a Declared Plant to effect its eradication, in order to prevent it escaping cultivation and invading vine thickets and other native vegetation.

Coccinia grandis , MM

Cucumis myriocarpus (prickly paddy melon) PP a native of southern Africa, is a summer-growing annual that looks like a slender, small-leaved version of the Afghan melon, with yellow flowers less than 2 cm across, borne in summer. The poisonous globular fruits, that rarely exceed 2 cm in diameter, are covered with scattered soft spines. It is green with dark stripes when young but yellow when ripe. It is often found with Afghan melon in paddocks, roadsides and disturbed land throughout the agricultural area, and it also occurs in the southern Kimberley. Cucurbita maxima (wild pumpkin) is a summer-flowering garden escape that is found occasionally in remnant bushland around Perth.

Cucumis myriocarpus , PH

Ecballium elaterium (squirting cucumber) is native to southern Europe and is occasionally seen along railway lines and on farms inthe central wheatbelt. It produces prostrate stems up to 1.5m long, from a perennial rootstock. The roughly triangular leaves are hairy, especially on the underside and the long leaf-stalk. The lemon-yellow flowers, 3-5cm across, give rise to densely hairy green fruits, up to 5cm long, held on arched stems. When disturbed, the ripe fruit detaches violently under hydraulic pressure, scattering seeds as it travels for several metres. Flowers and fruits appear in summer.

Ecballium elaterium , JD

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