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African horned cucumber

Cucumis metuliferus

Kiwano, Jelly melon, Blowfish fruit, Hedged gourd (Eng.), Rooi-agurkie, Rooikomkommer (Afr.)

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A spiky, melon type fruit that originates in Sub-Saharan Africa. The flesh of this golden fruit is lime green in colour and similar in flavour to cucumber and banana. It has a high water content and therefore seen as an important edible plant in the dry regions of southern Africa.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Pick Jelly melons when they turn into a golden yellow colour.

Propagation

Seed
Sow in Spring. Space 2m apart or train upwards; Sow seed 5-10mm deep; Germination time about 7-10 days.

Geography

Origin
Africa, tropical Africa south of the Sahara down to Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland
Natural climate
Arid Interior

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Edible
Fruits and seeds are edible. Pulp has a taste similar to cucumber and banana.
Notes
Culinary - fresh, fruit salads, drinks

Personality

Family
Cucurbitaceae
Flower colour
Yellow
Scent
Mild

Problems

Very resistant to most cucumber diseases, but may be susceptible to whitefly, red spider mite and aphids when grown in greenhouses.

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