Acanthosicyos horridus

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Acanthosicyos horridus (A) Citrullus lanatus (B)
by Ethel Dixie c.1925
Acanthosicyos horridus
0892 Narafrucht Sossusvlei.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Acanthosicyos
Species: A. horridus
Binomial name
Acanthosicyos horridus
Welw. ex Hook.f.

Acanthosicyos horridus is an unusual melon that occurs only in Namibia; it is locally called naras or nara.

The nara plant is leafless, the modified stems and spines serve as the photosynthetic "organs" of the plant.[1]

The edible seeds are known locally as butterpips.[2]

The fruit serves as an essential food source for Topnaar people from February to April and August to September.[1] The katydid Acanthoproctus diadematus feeds on the plant, moving between different bushes at night.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Nara Plant, Acanthosicyos horrida, Namibia". Siyabona Africa, Kruger Park Safaris. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-23. 
  2. ^ Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.
  3. ^ Conti, E.; Viglianisi, F.M. (2005). "Ecology of the calling song of two Namibian armoured ground crickets, Acanthoplus longipes and Acanthoproctus diadematus (Orthoptera Tettigoniidae Hetrodinae)". Ethology Ecology & Evolution. 17 (3): 261–269. doi:10.1080/08927014.2005.9522596. 

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