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Cucumis metuliferus - Kiwano Fruit - 5 Fresh Seeds
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Cucumis metuliferus - Kiwano Fruit - 5 Fresh Seeds

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Cucumis metuliferus - Kiwano Fruit

This listing is for 5 seeds of this unusual annual gourd from Southern Africa.

Cucumis metuliferus, horned melon or kiwano, also African horned cucumber or melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd, melano, in the south eastern United States, blowfish fruit, is an annual vine in the cucumber and melon family, Cucurbitaceae. Its fruit has horn-like spines, hence the name "horned melon". Ripe fruit has yellow-orange skin and lime green, jelly-like flesh with a tart taste, and texture similar to a cucumber. C. metuliferus is native to Africa, and is now grown in California, Mississippi, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand.

C. metuliferus is a traditional food plant in Africa and along with the Gemsbok cucumber (Acanthosicyos naudinianus) and Tsamma (Citrillus lanatus) it is one of the few sources of water during the dry season in the Kalahari Desert. In Zimbabwe it is called gaka or gakachika, and is primarily used as a snack or salad, and rarely for decoration. It can be eaten at any stage of ripening, but when overripened, will burst forcefully to release seeds.

The fruit's taste has been compared to a combination of cucumber and zucchini or a combination of banana, cucumber and lemon. It is also said to taste like an unripe, watered-down banana. A small amount of salt or sugar can increase the flavour. Some also eat the peel, which is very rich in vitamin C and dietary fibre.The fruit can be used in cooking, but when eaten raw, most suck out the pulp and spit out the seeds. The juice, which has a strongly citrus taste has been used in exotic cocktails almost as a 'mystery' ingrediant.

Easy to grow and cultivate, it thrives in sunny locations and will not tolerate frost. It is ideal as a greenhouse plant or for growing in a pot. In areas without frost it can be grown outside as long as it gets a sunny spot. It can be grown in the same manner as a cucumber in a greenhouse or frame and will flower and fruit from July onwards in the Northern Hemisphere.

Full instructions can be found here.



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