The Lagenaria sphaerica fruit is spherical as the name indicates. It hangs in Christmas decoration style from a sturdy stalk, sometimes high up from the branches of supporting trees and shrubs. In picture the leaves have mostly already disappeared from the annual stems, a common occurrence at fruiting time. The photo was taken in December in the Mjejane Game Reserve.
The surface of the hard, heavy fruit is dark green with scattered pale green to yellowish patches occurring along its smooth surface. It may exude an unpleasant odour. The generic name Lagenaria is derived from the Latin name for a type of flask, a lagena, resembling some fruits of the genus.
The seeds are whitish to pale yellow, oblong-triangular in outline and flattened. Seeds are 1 cm to 1,5 cm long.
Plant parts feature in traditional medicine, while ceremonies following the death of a chief also involve this plant (Pooley, 1998; Onderstall, 1984; iSpot; http://pza.sanbi.org).