Colocynth

(redirected from Colocinthis)
Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.

Colocynth

 

(Citrullus colocynthis), a perennial prostrate or climbing herbaceous plant of the family Cucurbitaceae. It is also known as bitter apple. The leaves are deeply pinnatipartite, with five to seven pinnately lobed segments. The plants are monoecious. The flowers are unisexual, yellow, and five-lobed. The fruits are yellow and spherical, measuring 7–12 cm in diameter; they have a dry bitter flesh. Colocynth grows in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Southwest Asia as far as India. In the USSR it grows in Turkmenia as an imported annual weed; it is sometimes cultivated in botanical gardens in Middle Asia and Transcaucasia. The fruits contain the glycoside colocynthin, which is a strong laxative.