13 March 2023

Bitter Apple – Haradh

When birding the Haradh area we saw quite a few Bitter Apple citrullus colocynthis growing in a sandy area near some acacias. The acacias were green suggesting good moisture was nearby and this may have allowed the plant to fruit. These plants are a creeping perennial species, with the fruit a globose, smooth gourd that is variously stripped green and yellow-white that turns yellow when ripe before dying. They prefer sandy or silty ground, particularly in wadis and are common in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.