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Heuzé V.Tran G.Lebas F., 2021. Colocynth (Citrullus colocynthis). Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/594 Last updated on November 20, 2021, 16:00

Common names 

Bitter apple, colocynth, vine of Sodom, wild gourd [English]; kolokwint, kwintappel, bitterappel of wijnstok van Sodom [Dutch]; coloquinte, coloquinte officinale [French]; bitter melone, Koloquinte, Koloquintengurke, Pomaquinte, Alhandal, Koloquintenkürbis, Bitterkürbis, Purgiergurke, Teufelsapfel [German]; Sártök [Hungarian]; coloquintide [Italian]; Колоцинт [Russian]; coloquíntida, tuera [Spanish]; حنظل [Arabic]; Ebucehil karpuzu [Turkish]; Kwartowa [Hausa]; אבטיח הפקוע [Hebrew]; इंद्रायन [Hindi]


The colocynth (Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.) is a member of the cucurbits family. It is a perennial trailing vine from the Mediterranean Basin and subtropical and tropical Asia that is able to grow in desert areas. It is mainly cultivated for its many ethnomedecinal and ethnoveterinary uses. Once cooked, the seeds become edible. They yield a considerable amount of oil, which makes colocynth a potential source of energy (biodiesel).