Patterns of vegetative and sexual development of Telfairia occidentalis Hook. f.
Keywords:Telfairia occidentalis, Fluted pumpkin, Cucurbit
AbstractThree populations comprising 202 plants of fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) were studied to provide preliminary insight into the patterns of development in this important but neglected vegetable crop. Intact seeds (with unseparated cotyledons) extracted from mature fruits germinated better in sawdust than in soil or sand. Fruits contained on average 61.7 seeds (range, 19-111). The sex ratio varied with one female plant to 1.5, 1.9 and 3.0 males. Although males were more frequent, the statistical limit of the ratio was about 1:1. As many as 18 flutes (single female flower) developed per female plant, but only 1-2-(4) flutes formed fruits. Estimated intact external volume of fruits was 0.2-14. 7 I, with mean of 5.2 I. The vegetative growth pattern of plants was sigmoidal and reached a peak 6.5 months after planting under a regime of selective and periodic pruning of edible young shoots.