Jelly Melon Cucumber
Also known as Kiwano or African Horned Cucumber, although botanically, this thorny oval fruit, filled with lots of seeds and greenish-gold gel, is not a true cucumber. Its fruits have a flavor reminiscent of pomegranate and citrus and are high in vitamin C. Jelly Melon originated in semi-arid Africa near the Kalahari Desert and is often used as a garnish or decorative fruit.
- 120 days
- This variety will grow well in most regions of the United States but does not tolerate cold well.
- Fresh eating & decorative
- Thorny oval fruits
- Green-gold gel-filled fruits
- Flavor like citrus or pomegranate
This variety works for:
- Fresh eating
The tart, sometimes astringent, flavor of the jelly melon has been compared to a watered-down banana or a combination of cucumber and zucchini. Try adding either salt or sugar to increase the flavor.
While some eat the skin, when eaten raw it is best to suck out the pulp or scoop it out with a spoon and spit out the seeds as you eat it.
Instructions - Sow seeds outdoors in 12" diameter hills after the last frost when soil is warm. Space hills 6' apart in all directions. Can also be started indoors 2-4 weeks before the last frost for an earlier harvest. Provide support for vines to save space.
- Direct Seed: 1" Deep
- Seeds to Hill: 6-8 Seeds
- Thin: To 3-4 Plants
- Light: Full Sun
Ratings & Reviews
These are awesome, they grow like nobody's business here in East Texas, and make a sweet/tart breakfast food in our house whenever they are in season. Cut it in half and enjoy the vitamin C, they might be scary looking but they are well worth the prickles.
I live in southwestern Wisconsin. I planted seeds per instructions and the plants grew but developed no fruit. Would like to try again.
Great for South Florida so far!
by Shana Budd
We are in South Florida and it’s growing like a weed ! And fruiting! In fact it took over my entire raised garden bed. However the underbelly of the plants are dying, not sure if this is normal.
Truly a plant from Hell
Things get off to an good start. "Wow these are growing so well!" Fast forward 2 months and 3 plants take over the entire garden with spikey vines climbing EVERYWHERE. If you want an excellent plant for growing over an arbor & trellis or walkway, this will work. But do NOT put this in your garden.
Two years in a row of fantastic growth and fruiting in southwestern WI. They need a lot of trimming to encourage fruit but they take right off after! Fun to share with those not familiar with their unique texture and flavor.