Cucumis myriocarpus, the paddy melon, is best known for its subglobose or nearly spherical fruit that are striped lengthwise and covered in soft spines. These fruits should not be eaten; they are known to have caused stock losses.
The flowers are small and yellow. They are cup-shaped with five pointy corolla lobes. The male and female flowers grow on separate plants. The leaves grow on branched, herbaceous, prostrate or scrambling stems. The leaves are deeply lobed and irregularly toothed. The plants are annual herbs.
The genus has some species with fruit that are sometimes edible, (but not always), such as the jelly melon or Cucumis metuliferus. Several species are, however, indubitably poisonous and care should be taken. The genus forms part of the Cucurbitaceae family (Letty, 1962).